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.

The tobacco industry recruits 1,600 youth to try smoking every day.
Tobacco sales generate nearly $1.2 billion per year from cigarettes consumed by kids.

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.

kids recess basketball
5.6M children alive today will ultimately die early from smoking. That’s equal to 1 child out of every 13 in the U.S. today.

Click here to learn about the newest frontier in addicting youth — e-cigarettes, vaping and JUULing.

Fight back. Talk to your kids about the dangers of tobacco. Click here for tips on how to get the conversation started.