Cigarettes - Addiction and Product Dangers & The Targeting Of Young People Every day, 3,000 kids start smoking, most of them between the ages of 10 and 18. These kids add up to 90 percent of all new smokers. These statistics show us that young people are the main targets of the tobacco companies. The cigarette manufacturers will deny it, but advertising and promotion play a very important part in making these statistics a reality. The two main companies in this advertising war are Marlboro and Camel. Marlboro uses a western cowboy called the Marlboro Man, while Camel uses Joe Camel, a hip cartoon character. Everywhere you go there is billboards or some other kind of advertisement on these two shady characters. When I say shady, I imply that these characters are not just figures we see but they are traps just waiting to lure the next victim in.
As kids look through magazines and see Joe Camel driving a cool car and surrounded by beautiful women they get the idea that in order to be somebody they need to smoke a Camel cigarette. It is not right to prey on young people just because they are unaware of the dangers of smoking.
The tobacco industry denies that these symbols target people less than 21 and claim that their advertising goal is simply to promote brand switching and loyalty. Many people disagree with this statement.
The problem we are facing is not only with the tobacco companies but with the young people also. The reason why I say this is because most youths know that they are being targeted. If these kids realize that the advertising is manipulating them, why do they still smoke? The ads reflect an image of rebellion and fitting in. These are all the...