Sourcing the New Generation of Smokers

As the old smokers die off from lung cancer and heart attacks, the nicotine business needs fresh young smokers to survive.

Tobacco advertising is the means that cigarette companies use to get fresh smokers on board, and hold on to existing smokers until they get sick and die. (Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, Cigarette Marketing in Canada – More Ways to end Tobacco Advertising, June 2007, http://www.smoke-free.ca/pdf_1/adbrochure-endingadvertising.pdf) The tobacco companies don’t necessarily make their advertisements to kill people. They do it to make money. (id.) Consider the cover story about Josh Brolin, above. He’s a tough guy. And exquisitely dressed. And just happens to be smoking a cigarette.

And if millions of innocent people just happen to be deceived by the advertising and die from cigarettes? At least the tobacco companies made lots of money.

The advertising is designed to make people think its normal to smoke cigarettes. And dangerous? Do the models in the advertisements look sick??

They want people to think their industry is legitimate (even though it kills and sickens millions).

In Canada, the tobacco business costs the country about $17 billion a year. People get sick. They die. Society loses their productivity. And so on. (id.)

DIRECT ADVERTISING

There are supposedly laws which restrict tobacco advertising.

The November, 2007, issue of Rolling Stone magazine had nine pages of cartoon-style advertising for Reynolds Tobacco products.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General, Tom Corbett, says this is marketing directed at children: “Their latest nine-page advertising spread in Rolling Stone, filled with cartoons, flies in the face of their pledge to halt all tobacco marketing to children”. (Marc Levy, States Sue RJ Reynolds Over Camel Ads, AP, Dec 4, 2007, http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071204/tobacco_lawsuits.html?.v=2)

GET TO KNOW OTHER CULTURES – THE WATER PIPE APPROACH

One tactic is to produce sweet-tasting tobacco for water pipe use. They add fruit flavors and sugar, and the smoke tastes really good. Even though a water pipe is used, the poison still gets through. The young smokers still get that nicotine kick. In fact, the nicotine gets into the body quicker with a water pipe vehicle than with a cigarette vehicle. (pic: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/manchester/6933140.stm)

Use of a water pipe has the image of getting to know other cultures. Two-thirds of the youth in Denmark have tried it. It feels nice to sit with your friends and taste the sweet smoke.

And before the youth know it, they can be slaves to a nicotine addiction. (Vandpibe lokker unge til rygning, DR, Jun 4, 2007, http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Indland/2007/06/04/130036.htm)

LIGHT CIGARETTES

The industry promotes “light” cigarettes as being somehow healthier. “The level of nicotine that smokers typically consume per cigarette has risen about 10% in the past six years, making it harder to quit and easier to get hooked, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Department of Health.”

Smokers who choose “light” brands hoping to reduce their nicotine intake are out of luck, according to the report that found for all brands tested in 1998 and 2004, there was no significant difference in the total nicotine delivered between “full flavor,” “medium,” “light,” or “ultra-light” cigarettes. (U.S. report: More nicotine in cigarettes, USA Today, Aug 30, 2006, http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-08-30-nicotine-levels_x.htm)

HIGH NICOTINE CONTENT IN YOUTH BRANDS

The industry targets some brands at the younger smokers. These brands have above-average amounts of nicotine, ensuring that the youth get fully addicted for a profitable lifetime of cigarette smoking.

“The study found the three most popular cigarette brands with young smokers — Marlboro, Newport and Camel — delivered significantly more nicotine than they did six years ago. Nicotine consumed in Kool, a popular menthol brand, rose 20%, for example.” (id.)

And what did the industry have to say about the findings? “Jennifer Golisch, a spokeswoman for Altria Group Inc.’s Phillip Morris USA, the nation’s largest cigarette maker and manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, declined to comment. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., manufacturer of Kool and Camel cigarettes, also declined. Reynolds is part of Reynolds American Inc.”. (id.)(emphasis added)

LOLLIPOPS

There are even nicotine lollipops available! (Stop smoking, drink water, CNNMoney, May 24, 2002, http://money.cnn.com/2002/05/24/news/nicowater/index.htm)
What age segment is best known for consuming lollipops?

SPECIAL TACTICS

Cigarette companies use tactics like these:

Adjustment of tobacco blends by using high-nicotine tobaccos and higher nicotine parts of tobacco leaves to raise the nicotine concentration in lower “tar” cigarettes.

Addition of extraneous nicotine to fortify tobacco stems, scraps, and other waste materials, which are processed into “reconstituted tobacco”, a product not found in nature that is used in significant quantities in most major cigarette brands.

Addition of ammonia compounds, which speed the delivery of free nicotine to smokers by raising the pH, or alkalinity, of tobacco smoke, causing the smoker to “freebase” the drug into his or her bloodstream, much as crack users freebase cocain.

Use of filter and ventilation systems that remove a higher percentage of tar than nicotine.

Genetic engineering of tobacco plants to substantially boost nicotine content, as Brown & Williamson has done by producing and using in mass-marketed cigarettes the super-charged “Y-1” tobacco, conduct which earlier this year led to a federal criminal conviction.

Use of nearly invisible ventilation holes that dilute the smoke and thus reduce nicotine delivery in machine tests leading to lower advertised nicotine levels but which are often covered by the fingers and lips of human smokers, who consequently inhale much higher levels of the drug, as well as the cancer-causing tar.

Addition of chemicals, such as acetaldehyde and pyridine, that act synergistically to strengthen nicotine’s impact on the brain and central nervous system. (WA Farone, 7 and 11 April 1996, unpublished papers).

Dr William A Farone, a former Director of Applied Research at Philip Morris, where he supervised a directorate of more than 150 research scientists, has pointed out that cigarette makers also use ingredients such as chocolate, cocoa, and menthol, which they claim are nothing more than innocuous food additives (WA Farone, 7 April 1996, unpublished papers; American Tobacco Company et al, 12 April 1994, unpublished document disseminated to the media).

As Dr Farone notes, however, chocolate and cocoa, when burned, produce theobromine, a bronchodilator that helps open up the air passageways and facilitate easier inhalation. Menthol, in turn, numbs the throat, also facilitating inhalation. (Taking aim at the bull’s-eye: the nicotine in tobacco products, Tobacco Control, http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/7/3/215) (internal citations omitted)

They do what they can to make smoking easier, increase nicotine delivery, and keep down their rated levels of nicotine (which are shown on the package).

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