Activists from around the Country Demonstrate at
May 6, 2008
Youth Empowered Solutions
from Eleven States to Demonstrate
Youth Angered by Manipulative Marketing Tactics Aimed at their Peers
Winston-Salem, N.C. Reynolds American is again trying to addict kids totobacco. That's the message youth from around the country will deliver at the tobacco giant's annual shareholder meeting today. More than 50 teenagers from tobacco control groups across the country plan on protesting new, high-profile marketing campaigns from Reynolds designed to make smoking appear hip and glamorous.
These exploitive tactics hook young people into a lifetime of addiction to a product that kills if used as intended, said Morgan Wittman of North Carolinas Youth Empowered Solutions. Ending the tobacco epidemic requires that tobacco companies stop recruiting a new generation of customers.
from as far away as Hawaii, will greet shareholders as they enter and
exit the annual meeting along North Main Street, and share their views
on the companys aggressive peddling of death to their
It is appalling to learn the deceitful tactics of Big Tobacco to target youth as replacement smokers through advertisement," said Kristy Ordonez, a Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids representative from Oklahoma. Knowledge of tobacco companies needs to be spread and we are here to do it!"
Each year tobacco companies such as Reynolds American spend billions of dollars marketing their products. Just last year the cigarette manufacturer introduced its new Camel No. 9 blend of cigarettes with an advertising campaign equating smoking with glamour, sophistication and beauty. The marketing also implies that Camel No. 9s light and luscious flavor, as it is described on the hot pink and black packaging, is not as risky as regular cigarettes.
Slick ads for Camel No. 9 ran in magazines popular with girls, including Vogue, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and InStyle. Promotional giveaways include berry lip balm, cell phone jewelry, purses and wristbands, all in hot pink.
The truth is that Reynolds Americans long history of marketing cigarettes has been devastating to our countrys health, said Anna White of the corporate accountability group Essential Action. The company that once marketed tobacco with the Joe Camel cartoon character is doing it again by branding its newest product as a stylish female accessory.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the U.S. Each year more than 400,000 Americans die from cigarette smoking. In fact, one in every five deaths in the U.S. is smoking related.
are participating in the demonstration include: Y.E.S. Team from Arkansas;
Communities Under Siege from California; REAL from Hawaii; Just Eliminate
Lies (JEL) from Iowa; reACT from Montana; No Limits from
For more information, including photos of Reynolds American Incs cigarette promotions, go to: www.takingontobacco.org/event/rai08