How Tobacco Advertising Influences Young People.
At the age of fourteen, I had my first puff of smoke. Even before that I knew a lot of cigarette brands due to advertising. Since then I started smoking and when I went to cafeterias and clubs the people who were promoting cigarettes would offer me a new brand to try and gave me free packs of cigarettes and a lighter with their brand. They didn’t mind how old I was, they just wanted to give them away and promote their product. But except this kind of advertisement, I had seen lots of tobacco advertisements on billboards which made me believe that everything is ok if I smoke. This is a false impression that tobacco advertisements picture to teenagers. Tobacco advertisements influence teenagers by glamorizing smoking. The World Health Organization blamed the advertisers for attracting young people, by representing cigarettes with being glamorous, energetic and attractive (BBC News 1). Except that, is how big the billboards are (see fig. 1 and fig. 2).
Fig. 1. Photograph of a billboard advertising Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes
Fig. 2. Billboard, featuring a man leaning against a boat and smoking, with the caption "Slow Down. Pleasure Up."
Even teenagers can see these big advertisements and they imitate what they see from different media which influences them into smoking. Although tobacco advertisers say that their advertisements are aimed for adults, yet this is not true because teenagers imitate those images .The glamorization of tobacco, the positive impression which teenagers get from tobacco advertising and the effects of advertisement are the main reasons why tobacco advertising attracting teenagers should be banned.
Banning tobacco advertisements at places where teenagers are able to see them, means ban at all public places which leads to violation of companies’ rights. Young people go everywhere and since the advertisements are put everywhere the advertisers wont be able to advertise tobacco anymore. This means that the advertisers might lose their jobs. But there will be no violation of companies rights if they advertise their product in a different way. The cigarette expenses’ were replaced by advertising cigarettes with another way without profits or loss of the advertisers jobs. This has been tested in a number of European Union countries, which have banned tobacco advertising (Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship 2). They will still be able to advertise their product but only to adults. A way for the advertisers to do that, is to make a magazine advertising all the cigarette brands, in a way of attracting smokers. And this magazine be purchased only by adults over the age of twenty five years old and the salesmen should always ask for an identity. Another way to advertise cigarettes at adult smokers, is to offer them free packs of cigarettes at cafes and clubs. But also ask for an identity before giving them the free pack.
The first main reason why tobacco advertising attracting teenagers should be forbidden is that the advertisers glamorize smoking. They use billboards, bus stops, the movies and kiosks (see fig. 3) to advertise cigarettes.
Fig. 3. A new stand in Athens with a tent with a Davidoff advertisement.
They present the Davidoff cigarettes with a sexy, successful, rich and smart man. Also they have put the slogan “the more you know” which gives the impression that smoking Davidoff will make you know more things or become smarter. They have glamorized their product in such a way for teenagers to believe that if they smoke Davidoff they will be successful, rich and smart. The advertisements create the image of smoking as cool, acceptable and popular among independent, active and fun-loving people. The advertisements at billboards and bus stops are presented in the same way. The bad thing with the bus stops advertisements is that they are placed not even a meter from the ground, where...
Cited: Bronwyn, Lamay. “ Busting The Tobacco Ads”. KQCD Education. 2001. 26 May
“Call To Ban All Tobacco Adverts”. BBC News 31 May 2008. 24 Apr. 2009
Ser. 362.2. Cambridge: Independence, 2004.
Hayes, Susan. “Smoke Screen”. NewsBank Popular Periodicals Jan. 2009: 16
“Industry Arguments”. Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship. Nov. 2008
8 June 2009
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