March 19, 2015
Banning Tobacco Advertisement
Tobacco is one of the most popular products in today’s market, but in order for it to be universally known, it needs to be advertised either by magazines and newspapers or posters. Tobacco advertising is much popular these days and we can support that it is the “food” of tobacco industries in order to keep them and their business essentially alive. Moreover, companies that make tobacco advertising can cause many problems to each society and also can affect consumers to a great extent. The belittlement of the harmfulness of smoking in advertisement is one of the main reasons why Health Organizations and Governments worldwide enforce the banishment of cigarette promotion from the world of advertisement. Every business has the need to advertise for many reasons such as brand differentiation, identification etc. but it fails to offer sufficient reason as to why that an addictive product such as tobacco should be allowed to be advertised as its advantages are a precious few, if any at all.
Tobacco companies have long argued that their marketing efforts do not increase the overall demand for tobacco products and have no impact on the initiation of tobacco use among young people; rather, they argue, they are competing with other companies for market share. In contrast, the weight of the evidence from extensive and increasingly sophisticated research conducted over the past few decades shows that the industry’s marketing activities have been a key factor in leading young people to take up tobacco, keeping some users from quitting, and achieving greater consumption among users. Tobacco companies are very interested in initial brand preference because they know it is highly associated with subsequent brand selection. They know that youth are very brand loyal, and once they have chosen a brand, most will continue with it. Tobacco companies have consistently stated that the purpose of spending billions of dollars on cigarette marketing is to attract and hold current adult smokers to their brands of cigarettes. In addition, the companies deny that marketing campaigns are intended to increase demand for cigarettes among existing smokers or to encourage young people to initiate smoking. The tobacco companies have always claimed that they do not want adolescents to use their products. However, for a tobacco company to be profitable over the long term, it must compete successfully for a share of the youth market. One reason that some adolescents and young adults start to smoke is that the tobacco industry implies through its marketing that smoking is effective for weight control. This long used strategy continues to the present, and the belief that smoking is effective for weight control remains prevalent among adolescents and may contribute to the initiation of smoking.
As in the case with all advertising, a substantial portion of all tobacco advertising consists of imagery that conveys little factual information about characteristics of the product. In effect, tobacco advertising fulfills many of the aspirations of young people by effectively using themes of independence, liberation, attractiveness, athleticism, social acceptability and inclusion, rebelliousness, and being “cool.” Young people want to be popular, to be seen as individuals by their friends, and to resemble those they must desire. Cigarette advertising exploits these adolescent desires, using imagery to create the impression of popularity, individuality, and kinship. There is substantial evidence that advertising affects adolescents’ perceptions of the attractiveness and pervasiveness of smoking. Peer and parental influences are also associated with the decision of an adolescent to begin smoking, but… it is also important to consider that, to the extent that tobacco industry marketing and promotional activities stimulate peers and...
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