Marketing to Youth
Children are the most impressionable members of society, and they are twice as sensitive to tobacco marketing as adults. In fact, 1/3 of underage smoking experimentation is attributable to tobacco advertising.
Tobacco ads suggest that smoking can fulfill powerful psychological needs like popularity, peer acceptance and a positive self-image. The tobacco industry knows that kids are too young to understand the consequences of smoking and addiction.
For decades, tobacco companies have aggressively promoted their products using tactics that appeal to children. Here are just a few of their dirty tricks:
- Sponsoring up-and-coming artists that appeal to younger people
- Offering free music downloads and pop-up concerts in convenience stores
- Using popular hashtags to be part of social media conversations
- Making products that look and taste like candy
- Placing ads and products in stores at the direct eye level of children
- Placing products in movies and video games
Today, 4 out of 5 youth smokers will become adult smokers. It’s a number that Big Tobacco counts on to keep making profit. Since half of all adult smokers will die from smoking, tobacco companies must have a constant stream of new recruits to stay profitable.