Corporate Tobacco targets marginalized communities
here are few of their many tactics
Our friends down the street - the Association of Non-Smokers Minnesota - have been working on a new campaign to highlight how Corporate Tobacco targets our communities with cheap tobacco. Did you know that Tobacco companies spent $7.7 BILLION in 2016 to reduce the price of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco for consumers. That is nearly $900,000 every hour!
In particular, tobacco coupons and discounts make it more likely that young people will become addicted to tobacco and less likely current smokers will be able to quit. Young and low income smokers are more likely to use tobacco coupons or promotions.
Menthol and African American communities
Menthol is a minty flavor added to cigarettes. Studies have shown that menthol makes it easier to begin smoking (the mint soothes the harshness and tastes good) and menthol makes it harder to quit. And here’s another fact: do you know that 88% of African Americans who smoke use menthol, compared to about only 25% percent of adult smokers overall. This is no accident. Beginning in the 1960s, tobacco companies began heavily marketing menthol to the African American community through free giveaways in Black neighborhoods, sponsorship of African American organizations and festivals, and advertising featuring important elements from African American life (i.e. jazz, Black Power, hip hop). Corporate tobacco also markets menthol heavily to the LGBTQ+ community. To learn more about menthol and tobacco targeting, visit Beautiful Lie Ugly Truth.
LET’S TALK ABOUT JUUL AD TARGETING
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not JUUL intentionally marketed to youth. We’re pretty sure they have and we think you might agree after you see this VOX video. It provides one of the best overall explanations we’ve seen of how JUUL looked at every tactic in Big Tobacco’s playbook and used it to hook a new generation of kids and young adults on nicotine. Oh yeah, and now Altria (owner of Phillip Morris) has a 35% stake in Juul. Funny how profit always trumps our health when it comes to big corporations.