Did you know that billions of dollars are spent on tobacco-related advertisements and promotions? For years, the tobacco industry had used authority figures (such as physicians and nurses) in ads to show the use of tobacco products as normal and harmless. In addition to television and magazine advertisements, tobacco companies have used the following methods for years to promote their products:
Have retailers place tobacco products in the most visible locations of the store
Have retailers create discounts & coupons and place marketing materials inside and outside the store
Give out free samples of tobacco products to communities of color and low-income communities
Have billboards set up that promote tobacco products (near churches, parks, stadiums, health centers, homes, schools, along streets and shopping centers - to name a few)
Sponsor events while promoting tobacco companies in such events (examples of these events include: sporting, music concerts, art exhibits, dancing performances, cultural events, rodeos, car races, etc.)
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Such activities have been linked to an increase in the number of youth that start smoking at an early age. In 2011, a study conducted by Stanford University showed that the sale of menthol cigarettes were lower in price near Californian high schools. In addition to the study’s findings about lower prices, it was also found that the sale of menthol cigarettes were heavily marketed to African American youth.
The truth is that the tobacco industry has long marketed its products to African American communities. Not only has the industry targeted the African American community; Youth, LGBTQ+, and other ethnic and minority communities also are targeted by the industry. This has created such communities to suffer disproportionately from tobacco-related illnesses and diseases.
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QUOTES FROM THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY:
Brown & Williamson,
"Clearly the sole reason for B&W's interest in the Black and Hispanic communities is the actual and potential sales of B&W products within these communities and the profitability of these sales...this relatively small and often tightly knit [minority] community can work to B&W's marketing advantage, if exploited properly."
"Our profile taken locally shows this brand [Newport] being purchased by Black people (all ages), young adults (usually college age), but the base of our business is the high school student."
"Today's teenager is tomorrow's potential regular customer, and the overwhelming majority of smokers first begin to smoke while still in their teens."
Bennet Leslow, Lard
and L&M Cigarettes
"We don't smoke that s___. We just sell it. We reserve the right to smoke for the young, the poor, the Black and stupid."
"If you are really and truly not going to sell to children, you are going to be out of business in 30 years."