The Truth about tobacco advertising...
Are they out to kill us???Top /Just the basics/The Real Truth/How Powerful is Advertising?/
The tobacco industry is one of the largest and most profitable businesses in the entire nation. Though it is frowned upon by millions, the measures taken to reduce the use of cigarettes has had very little impact on the success of tobacco companies. According to the popular health web site, DrKoop.com: "There are over 6 trillion cigarettes consumed each year in the world, and the retail market value on cigarettes alone is an estimated 300 billion dollars. In addition, "tobacco companies have begun purchasing food companies and coffee brands like Kraft and Maxwell House (owned by Phillip Morris). As a result, the industry receives an additional sum of 20 billion each year..." (http://www.drkoop.com/wellness/tobacco/articles/advertising1.asp) (back to top)
Studies also show that the nicotine found in cigarettes can have deep physiological effects on the brain. And, because nicotine adheres to the 1988 Surgeon General's criteria for addiction, it has since been labeled as a drug. The Federal Register: August 11, 1995 Volume 60 states:
"Once inhaled in cigarette smoke, nicotine reaches the brain in 11 seconds or less. [The drug] binds to receptors in the brain that are intended to receive neurotransmitter acetylcholine. These receptors cause the release of other chemicals in the brain that effect mood, alertness and perhaps cognition (Courtesy of www.wellnessweb.com/SMOKING/fdadrug.htm)." (back to top)
Although a great deal has been taken to reduce the amount of cigarette advertising, tobacco influence remains extremely powerful--especially towards today's youth. Even today, "thirty percent of 12 to 17-year-olds (smokers and non-smokers) own at least one tobacco promotional item, such as a T-shirt, backpack, baseball cap, etc (Source: http://www.drkoop.com/wellness/tobacco/articles/advertising1.asp)." Fortunately, the Food and Drug Administration has enforced a federal law whereby retailers are required by law to card minors for all tobacco purchases. Though the battle against tobacco use has progressively gained in strength, particularly with the development of popular anti-smoking campaigns like "Truth", whether or not the industry will completely collapse in this media war is almost impossible to foresee. (back to top)