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They Want You To Light Up

They Want You To Light Up

If you are a woman living in a developing country there is a good chance you are the target of an aggressive tobacco campaign. Tobacco companies have been working to attract women and girls since it is known that they are the industry’s biggest potential growth market.   The World Health Organization (WHO) is now calling for action to put an end to the advertising campaigns that target women.

A recent article from Reuters discusses the ways tobacco companies in developing countries are attempting to attract women.  Douglas Bettcher, director of WHO’s tobacco free initiative talks about the ways in which these advertisements cater to women and girls.  Bettcher says, "The tobacco industry is spending heavily on seductive advertisements that target women especially in low and middle-income countries,  The advertisements try to dupe the women in believing that tobacco use is associated with beauty and liberation.

In Japan, one company puts out pink packs of cigarettes to attract female smokers while a maker in Egypt sells packs shaped like perfume bottles.   WHO recently released a report revealing that women smokers outnumber male smokers in places like Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and Eastern Europe.  But in places like China and India, 60 percent of men smoke compared to only 3 to 5 percent of women.  This is where tobacco companies see potential to expand their market. 

And if you think it is just other countries that spend money on attracting new smokers, think again.  According to the WHO, the United States spent more than $13 billion on advertising and promotion of tobacco in 2005.

Do you think cigarette ad campaigns that target women and girls should be banned?

Should all advertising for tobacco be banned or do you think cigarette makers have a right to promote their product?

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  • trentjoy By trentjoy
    06.01.10  

    I think we live in a forward thinking culture no matter what country you live in and unless tobacco is made illegal then tobacco companies should be able to advertise as they wish. I am a former smoker who STARTED because I wanted to and QUIT because I wanted to. If you want to smoke I do not think it matters what package they put it in you are still going to do it. There are way too many restrictions being placed on our society for one reason or another and all it will do is help foster a dictatorship and we will not be able to do anything at all!

  • Lusadi By Lusadi
    06.02.10  

    I think cigarette makers should have the same rights as similar industries to promote their products. I think the advertising needs to target adults and any advertising targeted at teens or children needs to be avoided. Personally, I think people that choose to smoke in America do so with full knowledge of the associated risks.

  • MadHatter By MadHatter
    06.04.10  

    i think the attractive packaging is to also lure in young teens to get them into the habit. attractiveness can become a fad to own something like that. as long as the industries put out warnings and make the public aware of the long term effect this might cause in the future for constant use, its the peoples choice after that to use or not use the product. banning the use will not help because there is always a loop hole to get around distribution.

  • Innergy By Innergy
    06.08.10  

    I think tobacco companies should have a right to advertise their products to adults only since they are the only ones allowed to purchase tobacco products. In addition, just as some other products such as fatty foods and alchohol may potentially harm a person, they should be made to also state the risks involved with purchasing these products.

  • piscesgrly2 By piscesgrly2
    06.09.10  

    I agree with Innergy(great name by the way!) the tobacco companies should have to state the cons in using the product. I saw a boy on the news that is only two and smokes a pack a day. He holds a cigarette just like he's been a smoker for 20 yrs.! He began smoking at 6 mos.! That should not be allowed!

  • nisselokeo By nisselokeo
    06.10.10  

    I have been a smoker since i turned 19 and at the age of 18 the fact that i could now legally smoke never crossed my mind and let me tell you i was a child brought up on TV where these ads blare up all over the place. We live in a day and age where not only are smoking ads blared in our faces but anti smoking ads. The attractive packaging I believe is mainly to lure in young kids, and im not talking about 18 yr olds! If anything i believe i started off LATE! I did not start smoking because of ads, i just tried it one day and liked it and now i smoke off and on. I believe they, like any other product, have a right to promote their products. At the end of the day it is YOUR personal decision whether or not to smoke.

  • MyEmptyCanvas By MyEmptyCanvas
    06.26.10  

    Since you used the word "girls", which implies someone under 18 years old, Yes I think that those ads should be banned. A "girl" in that sense is unable (or should be unable) to purchase tobacco products herself, so therefore ads for that age group should be off limits. I am not a smoker, never have been and don't plan to either... there needs to be a way higher tax on those craps! Also, as long as tobacco is legal in this country, I don't see what all can be done to ban them. Yes, I know they cause illnesses and/or deaths, but so do other things that people consume daily. I can see it now -- there'd be an ad ban for dang near everything then LOL

  • contessakris By contessakris
    06.28.10  

    I don't think we should have smoking period but that is just my opinion. It certainly should not target children at all. In the end though, people have to make their own decisions women or men. The companies are seeing a viable market in women of lower/middle income families and are anxious to capitalize on it. After all, that is the way of our world.. Money money money comes first.

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