No tobacco is safe tobacco. Kids are twice as sensitive to tobacco advertising as adults – a more powerful influence than peer pressure. And Big Tobacco knows it.
Tobacco companies spend lots of time and money – more than $12 BILLION every year, with an estimated $129.5 million spent in Arkansas alone – to get kids smoking and keep them at it. Lack of government regulations has opened the door to highly engineered new products and colorful packaging, all designed to recruit new youth users.
Cigarettes have higher nicotine levels than ever. Which makes it harder to quit.
Internal company documents show that tobacco companies even address how the cigarettes should be designed so that the novice smoker can light them more easily.
Packaging, especially for smokeless tobacco products, is colorful, innocent seeming, and easy to conceal, barely distinguishable from candy or mints … the products they are often displayed near.
Products like bags, lozenges and dissolvable products – fine-ground tobacco mixed in a dissolvable, candy-like base – are marketed as “discreet,” to be “enjoyed anywhere.” What they don’t tell you is that there is enough nicotine in one package to kill a child.
Internet websites that sell tobacco products are an actively exploited frontier for tobacco marketing. Although research has shown that smokers commonly believe that tobacco products described as “light” are less harmful, an FDA review of Internet tobacco retailers uncovered use of terms such as extra light, premium light, super light and ultra light – despite a prohibition on these terms that went into effect in 2010.