Tobacco Advertising--How they get you hooked
WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO SMOKE?
Kids are extremely well-informed about the hazards of tobacco. Nevertheless, the onset of smoking has increased by one third in the last three years.This drastic rise in the numbers of children who smoke occurred despite the enormous time, energy and money spent on tobacco education programs. How could this be so? Parents, teachers and physicians have consciously tried to:
But their efforts have backfired because the tobacco companies know:
- appeal to the logic of small children as well as young people by telling them that smoking is harmful
- help children understand that they need not succumb to peer pressure
Why tobacco companies target children...
- that the act of lighting-up for the first time is stimulated by desire and curiosity, not thoughts or information that people make choices on the emotional level where desires are formed
- that information is simply used to justify existing desires
And using the grim psychology of manipulation and exploitation, the tobacco companies have:
- because they need more than 4,000 new smokers every day to replace the ones who have quit or died...otherwise the company goes out of business.
- beause they know that kids are curious, they think that they are invincible and the warnings are for somebody else, they are ruled by their emotions not logic, and they have no idea how quickly addiction sets in.
- because they know that the sooner someone starts smoking, the harder it is for them to quit.
- because they've learned that no adult in their right mind would take up such an addictive, deadly, costly activity.
Within the emotions of the young viewers:
- aimed the cartoon icon, Joe Camel, directly at impressonable children, as an unofficial role model for the emerging adolescent.
- bombarded the insecure with glamorous images that promise acceptance and acceptability.
- entered the world of teenage fashion and side-stepped the laws on advertising by instigating lines of clothing and gift items bearing cigarette brands, logos, and company names.
- promoted, encouraged and rewarded heavy smoking with their catalog "gift" items.
manipulated tender young emotions by associating tobacco products with patriotic symbols, luxury and glamour, the great outdoors, weight control, sports, freedom, acceptance, adventure, independence and sexual conquest.
- aroused desires and channeled peer pressure into avenues profitable to themselves.
- a feeling of lack arises, because they don't feel as happy as the models in the ads seem to be a sense of inadequacy ensues, and they are soon convinced that without a cigarette in their hand they are incomplete.
- Curiosity is kindled, and desire overrides all reason.