Teen Tobacco Wars Even though there is a seemingly huge restructuring of the tobacco marketing industry underway, it s all one giant shift in targeting with kids now semi-protected, and the college age under attack. To start, states have just begun to receive the huge amounts of money owed to them from tobacco settlements, but haven t used very much, if any, towards anti-tobacco campaigns. The first installment of money totaled $8. 8 billion nationwide, with only a mere 2% being used to fight youth smoking. One rare occurrence is in Massachusetts, where voters have passed a 25-cent-a-pack tax to fund anti-smoking programs and tripled the number of cities with antismoking ordinances. Furthermore, tobacco companies are saying they want to start a large-scale campaign against youth smoking, while at the same time they are redirecting marketing strategies to eighteen to twenty-five year olds.
Cigarette makers have actually poured millions of dollars into communities and schools to fight youth smoking. These youth antismoking acts are just a diversion for them to be able to focus on the legal smoking age with sleek magazine ads, bar events, and flavored cigarettes that so obviously target the 18-25 population. Additionally, nonsmoking advocates such as the American Legacy Foundation look past the big money of tobacco companies to try and inform youth of why they shouldn t smoke now and forever. A new wave of ads put out by the Legacy specifically, and graphically, spell out the reasons not to smoke. Nonsmoking advocates believe that this shift in focus towards a slightly older age group is all for the worse.
Last, under all the big money and talk, states, TV networks, and the entire ad market are just puppets of tobacco companies. Although it s not apparent to everyone, it s obvious the cigarette producers can make everyone say and promote exactly what they want them to. The new wave of Legacy ad have been delayed and all the networks have to say is, They are under review. Honestly, where is this money from the big settlements going: to non-profit organizations trying to curb youth smoking, or greased on the palm of the big names in advertising who can control exactly what we see and think.