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1981: "Today's teenager is tomorrow's potential regular customer." Said a tobacco researcher whose company was definitely not targeting kids.
Source: "PM USA Research Center - Young Smokers Prevalence, Trends, Implications and Related Demographic Trends." Truth Tobacco Industry Documents. 31 Mar. 1981. Report.
In an effort to market to African Americans in the 80s, one tobacco company said their brand "must be seen as authentic" and "not as a big white company's tactic to sell to blacks."
Source: "Salem Black Initiative Program Brand Team Ideation Session." Truth Tobacco Industry Documents. 03 Aug. 1989. Report.
The CEO of a top e-cig brand said other e-cig manufacturers used flavorings "to attract children." Fast-forward ten months and that same CEO was introducing "Butter Crumble"and berry flavors, saying, "flavor is essential to vapors' satisfaction." How old are those vapors?
Source: Richtel, Matt. “E-Cigarette Makers Are in an Arms Race for Exotic Vapor Flavors.” The New York Times. 15 June 2014. Web.
A major tobacco company visited a Pride festival to hand out coupons for cigarettes priced at $1 per pack. That’s five cents a smoke.
Source: "Newport's Pleasure Lounge Aims to Ignite Cigarette Sales." The Wall Street Journal; 13 Sept 2016.
As late as 1999, tobacco companies placed in-store advertising signage at a child's eye level.
Source: "Point-of-Purchase Tobacco Environments and Variation by Store Type --- United States, 1999." CDC. 08 March 2002. 51(09): 184-7. Web.
In the US, 540,000 people die a tobacco-related death every year.
Source: "Smoking and Mortality — Beyond Established Causes." NEJM. Brian D. Carter, M.P.H., Christian C. Abnet, Ph.D., Diane Feskanich, Sc.D., Neal D. Freedman, Ph.D., Patricia Hartge, Sc.D., Cora E. Lewis, M.D., Judith K. Ockene, Ph.D., Ross L. Prentice, Ph.D., Frank E. Speizer, M.D., Michael J. Thun, M.D., and Eric J. Jacobs, Ph.D., 12 Feb. 2015.
In the past, a tobacco company planned to boost cigarette sales by targeting the gay community. They even called their plan Project SCUM.
Source: Unknown. PROJECT SCUM.. 1995 December 12. RJ Reynolds Records. Unknown
Big Tobacco disproportionately targeted the LGBTQ community. They even used “pride” in their advertisements.
Source: "How the Tobacco Industry Has Targeted the LGBT Community for Decades." ATTN.com; 13 Jan 2017.
39.2% of high school students report seeing advertisements for tobacco products on the Internet.
Source: "Tobacco Use, Access, and Exposure to Tobacco in Media Among Middle School and High School Students-- United States, 2004." CDC. 01 Apr. 2005: 54(12) 297-301. Web.