Tobacco and Kids: The Facts
A publication of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
1707 L St., NW Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20036
ACCESS, APPEAL AND EDUCATION: THE NEED FOR THE FDA REGULATIONS
The FDA's proposed regulations represent a comprehensive effort to reduce tobacco use by children. Any solution to the problem of kids and tobacco must address the areas of access, appeal and education.
Access: Reduce Tobacco's Availability to Kids
The FDA proposal would: require age verification and face-to-face sale; eliminate mail order sales, vending machines, free samples, self-service displays, and the sale of single cigarettes and packages with less than 20 cigarettes.
Why Reducing Access is Important:
Tobacco products are easily available to kids. Every day, more than 3,000 young people begin to smoke -- more than one million each year.(1)
Potato chips, candy, and cigarettes?
Self-service displays allow children to obtain tobacco products easily, often through shoplifting. The Institute of Medicine concluded that placing tobacco products "out of reach" reinforces the message that tobacco products are not in the same class as candy or potato chips."(2)
A review of thirteen studies of over-the-counter sales found that on average, children and adolescents were able to successfully buy tobacco products 67 percent of the time.(3)
A review of nine studies of vending machine sales found that on average, children and adolescents were able to buy tobacco 88 percent of the time.(4) A study by the vending machine industry found that 22 percent of 13-year-olds use vending machines "often," and 14 percent "occasionally."(5)
Mail-order sales do not include a reliable method of age verification
Free samples are often given to kids. A survey of Chicago youth found that 14 percent of elementary and high school students had received free samples at least once, and about half said they had seen free samples given to minors.(6)
Cigarettes sold individually, or "loosies," are attractive to children as an easy, affordable way to purchase tobacco. Loosies often appear next to bubble gum and other candies targeted at kids.
Appeal: Reducing the Effect of Tobacco Marketing on Kids
The FDA proposal would: ban outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds; permit black-and-white-text-only (tombstone) advertising for all other outdoor advertising; require tombstone advertising in publications with significant readership under the age of 18; prohibit the sale or giveaway of products like caps or gym bags with a tobacco logo; and prohibit brand-name sponsorship of sporting or entertainment events.
Why Reducing Tobacco Marketing to Kids is Important
Who says there aren't tobacco ads on TV?
Sponsorship of sporting and cultural events is simply another method of advertising, and one that allows tobacco companies to circumvent the broadcast ad ban. For example, in the televised broadcast of the 1989 Marlboro Grand Prix, theMarlboro logo could be seen for 46 of the 94 total minutes of the broadcast time.(7) In 1994, Philip Morris and RJR received nearly $40 million in free TV time from their auto racing sponsorships alone.(8)
Extensive research shows that children are far more likely than adults to respond to images, cartoons, and photographs. Image-laden tobacco ads link tobacco use with themes that appeal to kids: success, independence, sophistication, maturity, and sex appeal.
Children and adolescents are more than twice as likely to smoke the three most heavily advertised brands (Marlboro, Camel, and Newport.)(9)
Youth consumption of Camels increased markedly with the launch of the Joe Camel advertising campaign. Thirteen percent of smokers under age 18 smoked Camels in 1993, compared with two to three percent before the campaign began in 1988.(10)
Teens are about three times more sensitive to cigarette advertising than adults.(11)
Promotional items, which provide free advertising with no warning labels, often end up in the hands of children. A 1992 Gallup poll found that half of all adolescent smokers and one-quarter of adolescent non-smokers owned at least one tobacco promotional item.(12) A 1993 survey found that almost seventy percent of adolescent smokers, and almost thirty percent of adolescent non-smokers, participated in promotional programs for tobacco products.(13)
A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that tobacco advertisements and promotions are as strong or stronger than peer pressure in encouraging young people to smoke.(14)
Sporting and entertainment events appeal to fans of all ages, giving the tobacco industry access to the youth market without conspicuously targeting minors. Other companies freely acknowledge that they use sponsorship to reach the youth market. For example, a spokesperson for the cartoon company Hanna-Barbera said it decided to become a NASCAR racing sponsor because it is a "perfect demographic fit . . . this is a huge family sport."(15)
Education: Saying No
The FDA would require tobacco companies to fund a public education campaign to prevent kids from smoking.
Why Public Education is Important
Similar educational programs in Vermont and California show that such mass-media campaigns can have a sustained effect on preventing teens from starting to smoke. In Vermont, students exposed to media campaigns and school health education programs were 35 percent less likely to have smoked in the past week than were students exposed only to the school program, and this preventive effect continued for at least two years following the end of the programs.(16) Data from California shows that the state's multi-year tobacco control media campaign succeeded in creating a high level of awareness in young people, and may have been a contributing factor in reducing teen smoking.(18) It has also directly influenced 33,000 Californians to quit in 1990-1991, and contributed to the quitting of another 173,000.(19)
Company-financed educational messages are not uncommon for FDA-regulated products. For example, producers of hearing aids are required to provide informational brochures for consumers that detail adverse reactions, side effects, and warnings. The producers of heart valves, silicone breast implants and some immunizations are required to provide similar information.
Between 1967 and 1971, antismoking messages were widely aired on radio and television due to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) application of the Fairness Doctrine. Broadcasters were required to provide a significant amount of television and radio time for antismoking messages. In 1971, with the ban on broadcast cigarette advertising, antismoking messages went off the air as well. A study found that the messages broadcast during that time period were effective in reducing smoking rates among adolescents.(20)
(1) "Trends in Cigarette Smoking in the United States," Journal of the American Medical Association, January 6, 1989.
(2) Institute of Medicine, 1994.
(3) "Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994.
(4) "Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1994.
(5) "Growing Up Tobacco Free," Institute of Medicine, 1994.
(6) Ron Davis et al., "The Distribution of Free Cigarette Samples to Minors," American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 4, 1988.
(7) Alan Blum, "The Marlboro Grand Prix: Circumvention of the Television Ban on Tobacco Advertising," New England Journal of Medicine, March 28, 1991.
(8) Advertising Age, June 12, 1995.
(9) "Changes in Cigarette Brand Preferences of Adolescent Smokers -- United States, 1989-1993," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, August 19, 1994.
(10) "Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994.
(11) "The Last Straw? Realized Market Shares Among Youths and Adults, 1979-1993, Journal of Marketing, April 1996.
(12) "Teenage Attitudes and Behavior Concerning Tobacco," Gallup International Institute, 1992.
(13) John Slade, "Teenagers Participate in Tobacco Promotions," Ninth World Conference on Tobacco and Health, 1994.
(14) John Pierce et al., "Influence of Tobacco Marketing and Exposure to Smokers on Adolescent Susceptibility to Smoking," Journal of the National Cancer Institute, October 18, 1995).
(15) New York Times, February 21, 1996, p. D7.
(16) B.S. Flynn et. al., "Prevention of Cigarette Smoking Through Mass Media Intervention and School Programs,"
American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 82, 1992; B.S. Flynn et. al., "Mass Media and School Interventions for Cigarette Smoking Prevention: Effects Two Years After Completion," American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 84, 1994.
(17) W.J. et. al., "Effectiveness of the California 1990-1991 Tobacco Education Media Campaign," American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1994 (still in press when cited by the Food and Drug Administration in its 1995 Proposed Regulation).
(18) J.P. Pierce et. al., "Tobacco Use in California, An Evaluation of the Tobacco Control Program, 1989-1993," University of San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 1994.
(19) W.J. Pophan et. al., "Do Antismoking Media Campaigns Help Smokers Quit?" Public Health Reports, volume 108, 1993.
(20) E.M. Lewit et. al., "The Effects of Government Regulation on Teenage Smoking," Journal of Law and Economics, 1981, as cited in the 1994 Surgeon General Report, p. 188.
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
1707 L St., NW Suite 800
Washington, D.C 20036
A Chronology of Events Related to the Food and Drug Administration's Proposal to Protect Children From Tobacco Marketing and Sales
August 10, 1995-August 1, 1996
August 10, 1995
President Clinton announced his support for the Food and Drug Administration's proposal to regulate tobacco sales and marketing aimed at youth.
August 11, 1995
The nation's five largest tobacco companies filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Greensboro, North Carolina, to block the FDA's rulemaking procedure. Six trade groups, including the National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies, filed separate lawsuits in North Carolina, challenging the proposed FDA regulations.
The FDA's proposed rules were published in the Federal Register.
Speaking before the Coalition for Our Children's Future and top executives from pharmaceutical companies, then-Senator Bob Dole promised that if he were president he would oust FDA Commissioner Kessler.
In an appearance before a Southern 500 racecar event, presidential hopeful Bob Dole criticized the proposed regulations restricting tobacco brand name sponsorship of sporting and entertainment events, saying, "Let Winston Cup make the rules for NASCAR, not the FDA."
September 29, 1995
Citing the results of a poll reporting that 86 percent of respondents wanted their member of Congress to support the FDA's proposal, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers announced their support for the FDA's proposed rules.
October 6, 1995
A leaked, internal RJ Reynolds memo revealed that the company discussed plans to develop a cigarette brand for the "14-to-18 year old." In a 1976 report, "Planning Assumptions and Forecast for the Period 1977-1986 for the R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company," an RJR executive wrote, "Evidence is now available to indicated that the 14- to-18 year old group is an increasing segment of the smoking population. RJR-T must soon establish a successful new brand in this market if our position in the industry is to be maintained over the long term."
October 16, 1995
The FDA extended the public comment period on the proposed rule to January 2, 1996.
October 18, 1995
A Journal of the National Cancer Institute study concluded that tobacco advertising and promotion influence adolescents' decision to begin smoking more than peer pressure or parental smoking. (Nicola Evans, et al., "Influence of Tobacco Marketing and Exposure to Smokers on Adolescent Susceptibility to Smoking," Journal of the American Cancer Institute, October 18, 1995.)
October 24, 1995
Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III criticized Philip Morris for failing to take action against Minnesota retailers caught selling cigarettes to kids, as their youth access prevention program, "Action Against Access" had promised.
November 14, 1995
Newspaper publisher Knight-Ridder introduced new guidelines restricting tobacco advertising in its newspapers, acknowledging the role tobacco advertising plays in encouraging people to begin smoking. According to the voluntary guidelines, the papers will not print "cartoon-like" ads, advertisements with misleading phrases like "alive with pleasure," or ads that give the impression that smoking leads to physical beauty or sexual attractiveness.
December 19, 1995
The University of Michigan's "Monitoring the Future" study reported that in 1995 past-month smoking among eighth graders rose by one-third, to 19 percent of 8th graders and 28 percent of 10th graders.
The American Journal of Public Health published a study that found merchants participating in RJ Reynolds voluntary youth access prevention program "It's the Law" were as just as likely to make illegal sales as those merchants who were not participants.
(Joseph DiFranza, et al., "Youth Access to Tobacco: The Effects of Age, Gender, Vending Machine Locks, and 'It's the Law' Programs," American Journal of Public Health, February 1996, Volume 86, No. 2, p. 221.)
An American Heart Association poll found 88 percent of Americans think their member of Congress should support the FDA's proposal to stop the sale and marketing of cigarettes to children; 47 percent said they would be less likely to vote for a local member of Congress who was accepting campaign contributions from the tobacco companies; and 81 percent of Americans do not trust tobacco companies to promote voluntary restrictions on the sale and marketing of their products to children. (Global Strategy Group, for the American Heart Association, March 19, 1996.)
March 14, 1996
A U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) study found that the 124 Representatives who signed a letter opposing the Food and Drug Administration's proposal to regulate the sale and marketing of tobacco to children received 69 times the average donation from tobacco companies received by the 86 Representatives who signed a pledge to support the regulations.
March 18, 1996
As part of its settlement with five states suing the tobacco industry to recoup Medicaid costs, tobacco manufacturer Liggett Group agreed to adopt some of the FDA's proposed restrictions on tobacco marketing and advertising.
March 21, 1996
The Giant, A&P, and Pratt supermarket chains agreed to voluntarily institute policies designed to prevent cigarette sales to youth.
A Journal of Marketing study concluded that children are three times more sensitive than adults to cigarette advertising. The study reports that when cigarette marketers increase the amount of advertising for particular brands, the corresponding sales of these cigarettes go up. (Richard Pollay, et al., "The Last Straw? Cigarette Advertising and Realized Market Shares Among Youths and Adults, 1979-1993," Journal of Marketing, April 1996.)
May 3, 1996
3M Media, the nation's third-largest outdoor billboard advertising company, decided to no longer accept billboard contracts after this year.
May 24, 1996
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that smoking among youth has reached its highest level in 16 years. Past-month smoking among high school students increased dramatically within four years, rising from 27.5 percent in 1991 to almost 35 percent in 1995. According to the same study, smoking rates among African American males nearly doubled within four years. ("Tobacco Use and Usual Source of Cigarettes Among High School Students -- United States, 1995," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 24, 1996.)
The CDC also reported that more than 75 percent of under-aged high school students were not asked to show proof of age when they purchased cigarettes. ("Tobacco Use and Usual Source of Cigarettes Among High School Students -- United States,1995," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 24, 1996.)
May 24, 1996
Philip Morris and UST, the largest manufacturer of smokeless tobacco, announced they would accept limited federal regulation over tobacco sales and marketing in exchange for preventing the Food and Drug Administration from ever having jurisdiction over tobacco.
July 29, 1996
Common Cause issued a study reporting that the tobacco industry donated $1,638,642 to the Republican Party and $334,600 to the Democratic Party in the first half of 1996, the most ever given by the tobacco industry to any party in any quarter in an election year.
FDA FINAL RULE vs. PROPOSED RULE
Changes between the rule issued August 23, 1996 and the proposal issued August 1995.
Advertising and Marketing
In the final rule, the FDA did not back off the provisions of the August 1995 proposal. The only major change makes the rule tougher. It eliminates brand- name sponsorship of individual teams, thereby eliminating an inconsistency in the original rule which banned brand-name sponsorship of events, but allowed tobacco sponsorship of individual teams.
The rule contains the core provisions of the August 1995 Proposal. There are two changes, each of which was made because they restricted sales to adults without evidence that they would decrease youth consumption. They are: A) Vending Machines: The final rule replaces the total ban on vending machines with an exception for vending machines in places that minors are not allowed by law to enter. B) Mail Order Sales: The original proposal prohibited mail order sales, but mail order sales will be permited under the final rule. The FDA will set up a system to monitor mail order sales. Redemption of coupons through the mail will continue to be prohibited.
The original proposal contained a $150-million-dollar education program. The program has been significantly revised, but FDA says the change will not affect the original commitment. The final education program is contained in a separate rule pursuant to which FDA will negotiate with individual companies to determine the amount they each are to contribute to the overall education program. The success of the program will be based on the amount FDA actually assesses each company and the degree of control FDA exercises over the content and placement of the education program it has promised.
Most state and local laws and the ability of state and local governments to enforce those laws will remain unaffected. In the unusual case where a state or local law contains a provision covered by the Rule that is more restrictive than the FDA rule, the provision will be preempted. However, state and local governments will be allowed to petition the FDA for a waiver of the preemption of these measures. FDA has stated it will establish and expedite review process.
THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION RULE
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule, approved on August 23 by President Clinton, is a comprehensive initiative to reduce teenage tobacco consumption by 50 percent. Here is a summary of its major provisions.
Reducing Easy Access by Children:
- Requires age verification for all over-the-counter sales.
- Limits vending machine sales and self-service displays only to places where minors are not allowed, such as certain bars and nightclubs.
- Prohibits the sale of single cigarettes and packages of less than 20.
- Prohibits free sampling of tobacco products.
Reducing Appeal to Children:
- Bans outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds. Permits black- and-white text only advertising for all other outdoor advertising, including billboards, signs inside and outside of buses, and all point-of-sale advertising. Color and imagery advertising is allowed inside places minors are not allowed to enter.
- Permits black-and-white text only advertising in publications with significant youth readership (under 18). (Significant readership is defined as more than 15 percent or more than 2 million. No restrictions on print advertising below these thresholds.)
- Prohibits the sale or giveaway of tobacco products like caps, jackets or gym bags that carry cigarette or smokeless tobacco product brand names or logos.
- Prohibits the brand name sponsorship of sporting or entertainment events, but permits it in the corporate name. Sponsorship of individual teams or entries within a sporting event is also prohibited.
- Requires the six tobacco companies (in a separate rule) with significant sales to children to educate young people about the real health dangers associated with the use of tobacco products. This national multi-media campaign will be monitored by the FDA for its effectiveness.
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Washington, DC 20036
Phone (202) 296-5469
Fax (202) 296-5427
RESTRICTING TOBACCO ADS THAT APPEAL TO CHILDREN DOES NOT VIOLATE THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Advertising and marketing restrictions are a crucial component of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) proposed regulation to reduce tobacco use among kids. The restrictions are based upon numerous studies linking advertising with tobacco use by youth and the release of tobacco company internal documents showing that they target their ads to kids.
The First Amendment The First Amendment allows the government to restrict advertising if there is a compelling public interest. Keeping children away from an addictive, deadly product is clearly a compelling interest. The First Amendment should not be used as a shield for the manufacturers of a product which kills more than 400,000 Americans a year.
Do what I say, not what I do
Tobacco companies Philip Morris and UST recently unveiled a legislative proposal with advertising restrictions, in contradiction of their previous stance that such restrictions are unconstitutional. However, these ad restrictions are considerably weaker than the FDA's and the legislation blocks the FDA from asserting jurisdiction over tobacco. PM and UST's proposal show that the tobacco companies' allegiance to the First Amendment is simply a convenient argument that provides a veneer of legitimacy and respectability to their efforts to market tobacco products to kids.
Commercial speech is not afforded the same level of First Amendment protection as political speech. Only in the last twenty years has the Supreme Court ruled that commercial speech enjoys even limited First Amendment protection.
Similar restrictions, known as "tombstone" advertising, are applied to ads for prescription drugs as well as stocks and bonds in the interest of consumer protection. These restrictions have never been successfully challenged as unreasonable or unconstitutional.
The Liquormart Case
The tobacco industry and its allies in the advertising community have argued that the recent Supreme Court decision in 44 Liquormart v. Rhode Island undermines the FDA's proposal. However, a review of the facts of the Liquormart decision shows that it has no bearing on the FDA's proposal.
In the Liquormart decision, the Supreme Court declared a Rhode Island law prohibiting truthful advertising of alcoholic beverage prices to be unconstitutional. Considerations cited by the Court in its decision were that the Rhode Island law restricted "accurate commercial information" in order to reduce adult consumption of a legal product; the restriction was not narrowly tailored to address the government's concern; there was insufficient scientific evidence that the proposed restriction would be effective; and the government had not attempted less restrictive alternative methods to achieve its ends. The FDA's proposed action addresses every one of the Court's concerns:
The proposed FDA action is narrowly tailored to reduce illegal tobacco sales to children; the Liquormart case dealt with efforts to reduce legal sales of alcoholic beverages to adults.
Not all speech is equally protected The Supreme Court protects commercial speech because of the value in distributing true information about products to willing consumers. Ironically, most advertising, and most cigarette advertising in particular, is of a completely different character. . . . The First Amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech, but not all speech is equally protected. Securities fraud, perjury, and sexual harassment, to name three examples, get no First Amendment protection.
- J.M. Balkin, Professor of Law, Yale University, Washington Monthly, October 1995.
The proposed FDA action does not restrict informational advertising about tobacco products, only the use of images that attract children, such as Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man; the Liquormart case involved an express prohibition on advertising truthful information regarding alcoholic beverage prices.
The proposed FDA action is based on exhaustive research and volumes of data indicating that the restrictions will have the intended public benefit; restrictions in the Liquormart case were not adequately supported by scientific research.
The proposed FDA action is supported by the strongest possible government interest -- that of protecting children from the illegal sale of an addictive and lethal product; the Liquormart case involved the government's weaker interest in reducing alcohol consumption by adults.
The proposed FDA action follows more than 30 years of failed efforts to protect children from tobacco marketing through less intrusive voluntary methods; in the Liquormart case alternative approaches had not been exhausted.
Thus, while Liquormart sets a higher standard for judicial review of commercial speech, the proposed FDA regulations meet and exceed every criterion the Supreme Court has set forth in this and all other First Amendment cases.
TOBACCO MARKETING ATTRACTS KIDS
Eighty-six percent of underage smokers, prefer either Marlboro, Newport, or Camel, the three most heavily advertised cigarette brands. Adults, who aren't as influenced by advertising, are much less likely to smoke these brands.(1)
A recent study found that teenagers are three times more sensitive to tobacco advertising than adults. Marlboro, the most heavily advertised brand constitutes almost 60 percent of the youth market but about 25 percent of the adult market.(2)
After RJ Reynolds introduced the cartoon Joe Camel campaign, Camel's market share among underage smokers jumped from 3 percent to 13.3 percent in three years.(3)
The FDA has proposed restrictions on tobacco ads that appeal to kids. Tobacco ads with colorful imagery like Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man would no longer be permitted in locations or formats that reach children, such as magazines with significant youth readership, outdoor locations, and on cool gear like hats, T-shirts, and backpacks.
Adolescents with a greater awareness of tobacco advertising and promotion are significantly more likely to start using tobacco than those with low awareness.(4)
Children Are Frequently Exposed To Tobacco Advertising
Thirty percent of kids (12 to 17 years old), both smokers and nonsmokers, own at least one tobacco promotional item, such as T-shirts, backpacks, and CD players.(5)
hile overall cigarette advertising in magazines has declined sharply, the number of ads per issue in magazines with substantial youth readership has remained constant.(6)
Public Support for Restrictions
Adults overwhelmingly support measures which would prohibit tobacco advertising that appeals to children.
83.1 percent believe that images such as Joe Camel should not be in magazines read by kids.(7)
73 percent believe tobacco ads without pictures and cartoons would make smoking less appealing to kids.(8)
78.7 percent believe that advertising such as the Marlboro cowboy on T-shirts, hats, backpacks or other items kids use should be stopped.(9)
(1) "Changes in the Cigarette Brand Preferences of Smokers, Unites States, 1989-1993," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1994.
(2) Pollay et al., "The Last Straw? Cigarette Advertising and Realized Market Shares Among Youth and Adults," Journal of Marketing, Vol. 60, No. 2.
(3)"Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A report of the Surgeon General," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994.
(4) "Influence of Tobacco Marketing and Exposure to Smokers on Adolescent Susceptibility to Smoking," Journal of the American Cancer Institute, October 18, 1995.
(5) "Teen-age Attitudes and Behaviors Concerning Tobacco," Gallup International Institute, September, 1992.
(6) "Minority Issues," Tobacco Use: An American Crisis, American Medical Association, 1993.
(7) Bruskin / Goldring Research, poll conducted for National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, August 7, 1996.
(8) "Youth Access to Tobacco," Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, February, 1995.
(9) Bruskin / Goldring.
NEW EVIDENCE SUPPORTS FDA PROPOSAL
The need for the Food and Drug Administration to act to protect children from tobacco products has never been more urgent. In the year since the FDA issued its proposal, dramatic new evidence has underscored the need for strong, effective measures to protect children from tobacco marketing and sales.
Effective Measures Are Needed to Protect Children from Tobacco Marketing and Sales
The Rate of Smoking Among Youth is Rising
- The CDC reports that smoking among youth has reached its highest level in 16 years. Past-month smoking among high school students increased dramatically within four years, rising from 27.5 percent in 1991 to almost 35 percent in 1995. According to the same study, smoking rates among African American males nearly doubled within four years. ("Tobacco Use and Usual Source of Cigarettes Among High School Students -- United States, 1995," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 23, 1996.)
- The University of Michigan's "Monitoring the Future" data show that in 1995 past- month smoking among eighth graders rose by one-third, to 19 percent of 8th graders and 28 percent of 10th graders. ("Teens Use More Drugs, Worry Less About Consequences," Washington Post, December 16, 1995.)
Children Continue to Have Easy Access to Cigarettes
- More than 75 percent of under-aged high school students were not asked to show proof of age when they purchased cigarettes. ("Tobacco Use and Usual Source of Cigarettes Among High School Students -- United States, 1995," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 24, 1996.)
- A CDC study found the percentage of minors who reported buying their own cigarettes increased from 58 to 62 percent between 1989 and 1993. ("Accessibility of Tobacco Products to Youths Aged 12-17 Years -- United States, 1989 and 1993," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, February 16, 1996.)
- The CDC reported that underage buyers are able to purchase tobacco products from retail outlets about 73 percent of the time and from vending machines 96 percent of the time. ("Report Examines State Laws on Tobacco Control -- United States, 1995," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, November 3, 1995.) More scientific evidence proves that tobacco advertising encourages children to begin smoking.
- Children are three times more sensitive than adults to cigarette advertising. A Journal of Marketing study found that when cigarette marketers increase the amount of advertising for particular brands, the corresponding sales of these cigarettes go up.
(Richard Pollay, et. al., "The Last Straw? Cigarette Advertising and Realized Market Shares Among Youths and Adults, 1979-1993," Journal of Marketing, April 1996.)
- Tobacco advertising and promotion influence adolescents' decision to begin smoking more than peer pressure or parental smoking, according to a recent study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. (Nicola Evans, et al., "Influence of Tobacco Marketing and Exposure to Smokers on Adolescent Susceptibility to Smoking," Journal of the American Cancer Institute, October 18, 1995.)
- Historically, sudden rises in adolescent smoking coincided with large-scale cigarette promotional campaigns, according to a study published in Health Psychology.
(John Pierce and Elizabeth Gilpin, "A Historical Analysis of Tobacco Marketing and the Uptake of Smoking by Youth in the United States: 1890-1977," Health Psychology, Vol. 14, No. 6.)
Leaked Internal Tobacco Industry Documents Revealed Tobacco Industry's Plans to Target Kids
In the last year, a series of internal tobacco industry documents regarding youth- oriented marketing plans have come to light.
- An internal RJ Reynolds memo reveals that the company discussed plans to develop a cigarette brand for the "14-to-18 year old." In a 1976 report, "Planning Assumptions and Forecast for the Period 1977-1986 for the R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company," an RJR executive wrote, "Evidence is now available to indicated that the 14- to-18 year old group is an increasing segment of the smoking population. RJR-T must soon establish a successful new brand in this market if our position in the industry is to be maintained over the long term." (Doug Levy, "RJR Memo Targeted Teen Market," USA Today, October 6, 1995, p. D1.)
- Internal RJ Reynolds documents from the early 1970s reveal that the tobacco company developed specific strategies which could be used to sell cigarettes to the youth market, including developing a new cigarette brand for teens. In 1973, RJR's assistant director of research Claude Teague explained the necessity of the youth marketing strategy: "Realistically, if our Company is to survive and prosper, over the long term, we must get our share of the youth market. In my opinion this will require new brands tailored to the youth market." Teague suggested a new brand should appeal to youth, by marketing it as a way to fight "stress. . . awkwardness, boredom" and suggested that smoking could help teens achieve "membership in a group." Teague's plans for "new brands tailored to the youth market" included suggestions to weaken potentially irritating smoke and to reduce the rate of nicotine delivery levels to accommodate the "learning smokers." (John Schwartz, "1973 Cigarette Company Memo Proposed New Brands for Teens," Washington Post, October 4, 1995, p. A2.)
- Internal tobacco industry documents, obtained by the FDA, show that smokeless tobacco company U.S. Tobacco considered developing a nicotine candy. Notes from a 1968 meeting record the vice president L.F. Bantle saying, "We must sell the use of tobacco in the mouth and appeal to young people. We hope to start a fad. The theme will be: 'Tobacco -- too good to smoke.'" (Associated Press, "Tobacco Candy Was Proposed," August 21, 1995.)
- An internal 1984 RJ Reynolds report identifies younger adult smokers, particularly 18-year-olds, as the "critical factor" behind the success of every leading cigarette brand. The report says that "renewal of the market stems almost entirely from 18-year-old smokers. No more than 5 percent of smokers start after age 24. . . The brand loyalty of 18-year-old smokers far outweighs any tendency to switch with age." The document proves that the company understood the importance of attracting young smokers and appears to contradict the tobacco industry's longstanding claim that they only advertise to persuade current smokers to switch brands. ("R.J. Reynolds Called 18-Year-Olds 'Critical' to Cigarettes' Success," Wall Street Journal, July 11, 1996, p. B6.)
More Evidence Suggests that Strong, Comprehensive Federal Regulations are Necessary
The Tobacco Industry's Voluntary Programs Are Not Working
- After announcing its youth access prevention program, "Action Against Access," with great fanfare in July 1995, Philip Morris has yet to take action on many of its provisions. Philip Morris had promised to deny merchandising benefits to retailers caught selling cigarettes to kids. However, when Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III gave Philip Morris a list of stores caught selling tobacco to minors, the company took no action against the retailers. (Doug Levy, "Smoke Screen Alleged," USA Today, October 25, 1995, p. D1.)
- A February 1996 study found that merchants participating in RJ Reynolds voluntary youth access prevention program "It's the Law" were as just as likely to make illegal sales as those merchants who were not participants. (Joseph DiFranza, et al., "Youth Access to Tobacco: The Effects of Age, Gender, Vending Machine Locks, and 'It's the Law' Programs," American Journal of Public Health, February 1996, Volume 86, No. 2, p. 221.)
- An internal Tobacco Institute memo from 1979 discussed a tobacco industry plan to develop a public relations program that would only appear to prevent smoking among youth. In the 1979 memo a Tobacco Institute senior vice president, Franklin Dryden, suggested the industry sponsor a "pre-adult" education program, writing, "It seems to me our objective is. . . a 'media event' which in itself promises a lot but produces little." (John Schwartz, "Youth Smoking Plan Has Long History," Washington Post, May 23, 1996, p. A15.)
- Joe Camel billboards re-appeared only 7 weeks after RJ Reynolds announced it would suspend billboard advertising through the end of the year. ("Joe's Back," USA Today, December 12, 1995, p. B1.)
The Tobacco Industry is Fighting Effective Youth Access Laws in the States
- Over the past year, the tobacco industry has aggressively fought comprehensive, meaningful tobacco prevention measures at the state level. Across the country, the tobacco industry is aggressively promoting legislation that purports to limit sales to minors, but actually is riddled with loopholes and exceptions. Most dangerously, many of these bills contain preemptive language that restricts the authority of local governments from enacting or enforcing legislation. Last year, the tobacco industry promoted a total of 34 preemptive tobacco bills in 28 states. (American Cancer Society, et al., "Actions Speak Louder Than Words: The Tobacco Industry's Stealth Strategy in State Legislatures," May 28, 1996; Fran Ellers, "Bill Would End Cigarette Stings Involving Teens," Louisville Courier-Journal, January 26, 1996, p. B1) Public, Political Support for the Measures Proposed by the FDA Keeps Growing
- One month after the FDA rules were released, a Coalition on Smoking OR Health poll showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans, 86 percent, wanted their Congressional representatives to support the FDA's proposed regulations to stop the sale and marketing of cigarettes to children.
- Over the past year, support for the FDA rules has continued to grow. According to a March 1996 poll, 88 percent of Americans think their member of Congress should support the FDA's proposal to stop the sale and marketing of cigarettes to children; 47 percent said they would be less likely to vote for a local member of Congress who was accepting campaign contributions from the tobacco companies; and 81 percent of Americans do not trust tobacco companies to promote voluntary restrictions on the sale and marketing of their products to children. (Global Strategy Group, for the American Heart Association, March 19, 1996.)
- Newspaper publisher Knight-Ridder introduced new guidelines restricting tobacco advertising in its newspapers, acknowledging the role tobacco advertising plays in encouraging people to begin smoking. According to the voluntary guidelines, the papers will not print "cartoon-like" ads, advertisements with misleading phrases like "alive with pleasure," or ads that give the impression that smoking leads to physical beauty or sexual attractiveness. (Suein Hwang, "Anti-Smokers Push Publishers to Censor Cigarette Ads," Wall Street Journal, November 14, 1996, p. B1.)
- 3M Media, the nation's third-largest outdoor billboard advertising company, decided to no longer accept billboard contracts after this year. (Glenn Collins, "Major Advertising Company to Bar Billboard Ads for Tobacco," New York Times, May 3, 1996, p. A15.)
- Giant, A&P, and Pratt supermarket chains agreed to voluntarily institute policies designed to prevent cigarette sales to youth. ("Clinton Hails Liggett Pacts As A 'Crack in the Stonewall,'" Wall Street Journal, March 21, 1996, p. B8.)
Numerous Leaked Internal Tobacco Industry Documents Suggest the Tobacco Industry Cannot Be Trusted
Internal tobacco industry documents show that the tobacco companies are acutely aware of nicotine's addictiveness.
- Internal Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co. reports from the early 1990's indicate that, even as cigarette makers deny that they manipulate nicotine levels in cigarettes to keep smokers hooked, most are adding chemicals such as ammonia to increase the potency in cigarettes. (Alix Freedman, "'Impact Booster: 'Tobacco Firms Shows How Ammonia Spurs Delivery of Nicotine," Wall Street Journal, October 18, 1995, p. A1.)
- In 1992, memos reveal that Brown & Williamson considered getting into the nicotine patch business, but the company's then-chief attorney cautioned against the idea, writing, "If we did anything which suggested we were simply in the nicotine delivery business, we would run a serious risk of facing FDA jurisdiction. . . . B&W or BAT [B&W's parent company] would be admitting that the real reason people smoke is for the nicotine."
(Suein Hwang and Alix Freedman, "BAT Considered Batches But Stuck to Making Cigarettes," Wall Street Journal, October 9, 1996, p. B3.)
- Former Brown & Williamson executive Jeffrey Wigand revealed that his former boss, B&W CEO Thomas Sandefur lied to Congress when he said that he did not believe nicotine is addictive. Wigand also revealed that B&W lawyers hid potentially damaging scientific research and that the company continued to add chemicals to cigarette mixtures, even after being informed that the chemicals were unsafe. (Alix Freedman, "Cigarette Defector Says CEO Lied to Congress About View of Nicotine," Wall Street Journal, January 26, 1996, p. A1.)
- Three former Philip Morris employees made sworn statements maintaining that the cigarette company believes it is in the nicotine-delivery business and deliberately controls nicotine levels in cigarettes. (John Schwartz, "Firm's Claim on Nicotine Contradicted," Washington Post, March 19, 1996, p. A1.)
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: TOBACCO INDUSTRY QUOTES ON MARKETING TO KIDS
In public statements, tobacco executives claim that they do not market to kids. Internal tobacco-industry documents, however, tell a different story. These quotes show that tobacco ads affect kids and that the tobacco companies consider children to be their next generation of customers.
"Evidence is now available to indicate that the 14-to-18 year old group is an increasing segment of the smoking population. RJR-T must soon establish a successful new brand in this market if our position in the industry is to be maintained over the long term." Planned Assumptions and Forecast for the Period 1977-1986 for RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company," stamped "secret," March 15, 1976.
"Realistically, if our Company is to survive and prosper, over the long term, we must get our share of the youth market. In my opinion, this will require new brands tailored to the youth market."Claude Teague, RJR, "Research Planning Memorandum on Some Thoughts About New Brands of Cigarettes for the Youth Market," February 2, 1973.
"I urge you to study the attached scroll list . . . for purposes of denoting stores that are heavily frequented by young adult shoppers. These stores can be in close proximity to colleges, high schools, or areas where there are a large number of young adults frequent the store [sic]."J.P. McMahon, " Young Adult Market," memo to Philip Morris sales representatives, January 10, 1990.
"For legal reasons, we have been unable to directly survey smokers under 18 years of age (as will be shown most smokers begin smoking regularly and select a usual brand at or before the age of 18). . . . Over 50% of men smokers start smoking fairly regularly before the age of 18. . . ." D.W. Tredennick, RJ Reynolds, July 3, 1974.
"But it must also be true that influential young smokers . . . have made brand selections based on product characteristics or advertising and promotion communication." D.W. Tredennick, RJ Reynolds, July 3, 1974.
"If it was legal to sell to 'em, we'd be glad to. But it's not." Walker Merryman, Tobacco Institute, WHCS-TV, Portland, Maine, August 5, 1992, in a discussion about tobacco use among youth. 1707 L St., NW Suite 800 / Washington, D.C. 20036 / 202-296-5469 / fax: 202-296-5427
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: TOBACCO INDUSTRY QUOTES ON NICOTINE
Internal tobacco industry documents show that the tobacco companies manipulate the nicotine level in their products to addict their customers, including children. The following quotes also show that the industry intends tobacco products to "affect the structure or any function of the body" -- the criteria for FDA jurisdiction.
"In a sense, the tobacco industry may be thought of as being a specialized, highly ritualized, and stylized segment of the pharmaceutical industry. Tobacco products uniquely contain and deliver nicotine, a potential drug with a variety of physiological effects." Memo written by RJR executive Claude Teague, Jr., "RJR Confidential Research Planning Memorandum on the Nature of Nicotine and the Crucial Role of Nicotine Therein," also quoted in the New York Times, July 26, 1995.
"We wonder whether such children [who display hyperkinetic behavior] may not eventually become cigarette smokers in their teenage years as they discover the advantage of self-stimulation via nicotine. We have already collaborated with a local school system in identifying some such children in the third grade."
June 10, 1974 memo from Philip Morris researcher William Dunn reporting on a company-sponsored study.
"We recognize that nicotine plays an important role in smoking behavior for many people." RJR researchers J. Robinson and W. Pritchard, "The Role of Nicotine in Tobacco Use," Psychopharmacology, Vol. 108,1992.
"Without nicotine. . . there would be no smoking. . ." Philip Morris researcher William Dunn, "Motives and Incentives in Cigarette Smoking," Summary from Center for Tobacco Research Conference, 1972.
"If nicotine is the "sine qua non" of tobacco products, and tobacco products are recognized as being the attractive dosage forms of nicotine, then it is logical to design our product -- and where possible our advertising -- around nicotine delivery rather than around tar delivery or flavor." Memo from RJR executive, Claude Teague, Jr., "RJR Confidential Research Planning Memorandum on the Nature of Nicotine and the Crucial Role of Nicotine Therein," also quoted in the New York Times, July 26, 1995.
"Smoking is a habit of addiction." Sir Charles Ellis, BATCO science advisor, 1962 BATCO research and development conference.
TOBACCO SPONSORSHIP AND PROMOTION
Tobacco Promotions Reach Kids
Tobacco companies have dramatically increased spending on promotions that reach kids such as T-shirts, caps, and other gear with tobacco logos. In 1993, promotional activities accounted for 87.3 percent of the tobacco industry's $6.03 billion marketing budget.(1)
The FDA has proposed to end tobacco sponsorship and promotions that attract children. The sale or distribution of items such as caps, jackets, or gym bags with tobacco product brand names or logos would be prohibited. Brand name sponsorship of sporting or entertainment events would also be prohibited but would be permitted in the corporate name.
An estimated 7.4 million minors have participated in tobacco promotion campaigns by owning promotional items such as T-shirts, baseball caps, or backpacks, collecting coupons redeemable for such items or possessing a catalog depicting promotional items. Of these minors, 2.2 million are estimated to have collectively owned 7.1 million tobacco promotional items.(2) Participation in promotions was found to be as predictive of susceptibility to tobacco use as was smoking by others in the household.(3)
Almost eight out of ten people (78.7%) believe that images such as Joe Camel or the Marlboro man should not be on hats, T-shirts, backpacks or other items kids wear or use, according to an August, 1996 national poll.(4)
Auto Racing and Kids
Tobacco-sponsored auto races, such as the Winston Cup and the Marlboro Grand Prix, are popular with children. In 1994, 12 to 17 year olds accounted for almost 1 out of every 5 people (18%) attending a stock car racing event.(5)
In 1992, 64 million children and adolescents watched autoracing on television.(6) These children were exposed to many hours of prominently-featured tobacco advertising in these races. One study showed that the Marlboro logo or name appeared 5,933 times during the broadcast of the Marlboro Grand Prix.(7)
(1) Federal Trade Commission Report to Congress for 1993. Federal Trade Commission, 1995.
(2) Coeytaux, R.R., Altman, D.G., and Slade, J., "Tobacco Promotions in the Hands of Youth," Tobacco Control, 1995; 4: 253-257.
(3) Slade, J., Altman, D., Coeytaux, R., "Teenagers Participate in Tobacco Promotions," presentation at the 9th World Conference on Tobacco and Health, October 10-14, 1994.
(4) Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids survey conducted by Bruskin / Goldring Research, August 1996.
(5) Simmons Market Research Bureau, Inc., 1994 data.
(6) Slade, J., "Tobacco Product Advertising During Motorsports Boradcasts: A Quantitative Assessment," presentation at the 9th World Conference on Tobacco and Health, October 10-14, 1994.
(7) Blum, A., "Sounding Board, The Marlboro Grand Prix: Circumvention of the Television Ban on Tobacco Advertising," The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 324, No. 13, pp. 915-916, March 28, 1991.
BUYING INFLUENCE: TOBACCO INDUSTRY POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS
The Tobacco Industry Is Flooding Congress and the Political Parties with Cash
During the first six months of 1996, tobacco interests donated more than $1.9 million to national political party committees -- a record for the tobacco industry. The industry gave a total of $4.75 million to the parties in the first 18 months of the 1996 election cycle, more than double the $2.3 million they gave during the comparable period in the 1992 presidential election cycle.(1)
National political party leaders have become involved in monitoring and influencing tobacco legislation in the states. Last year, Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour called Texas Governor Bush to check on the future of a tobacco bill that would have preempted local action. Around the same time, Barbour also called the Arizona House Speaker Mark Killian to urge him to back preemptive legislation supported by the tobacco industry.(2)
During the first 18 months of the 1996 election cycle, tobacco interests gave $2.1 million in political action committee (PAC) contributions to individual candidates.(3)
Bob Dole accepted a total of $195,200 from tobacco PACs between 1979 and March 1996. This total includes donations to his Senate and Presidential campaigns. The Clinton - Gore campaign does not accept PAC contributions, but when Al Gore was a Senator he received $16,690 in tobacco PAC money during the same period.(4)
Political Donations are a Good Investment for the Tobacco Industry
The 124 U.S. Representatives who signed a letter opposing the Food and Drug Administration's proposal to regulate tobacco products received, on average, 69 times more money from the tobacco industry than the 86 Representatives who signed a pledge to support the regulations. Tobacco industry PAC contributions to the Members of Congress who signed the anti-FDA-regulation letter totaled $3.4 million during the last decade.(6)
A 1994 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the more money a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives received from the tobacco industry, the less likely the Member was to support tobacco control legislation.(7)
Seventy percent of tobacco industry PAC contributions during the past decade were given to Members of Congress who do not represent one of the six primary tobacco- producing states.(8)
(1) Common Cause, "Tobacco Interests, Philip Morris Set New Soft Money Records," July 29, 1996.
(2) "Tobacco Ties," Wall Street Journal, March 1, 1996, p. A1; Wall Street Journal, February 20, 1996, p. A20.
(3) Common Cause, "Tobacco Interests, Philip Morris Set New Soft Money Records," July 29, 1996.
(4) Center for Responsive Politics, "Tobacco Industry Totals," July, 1996.
(5) U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG), "Smoking Them Out," March 1996.
(6) Common Cause, "Smoke & Mirrors," March 14, 1996.
(7) Stephen Moore, et al., "Epidemiology of Failed Tobacco Control Legislation," Journal of the American Medical Association, October 19, 1994, p. 1171.
(8) Common Cause, "Smoke & Mirrors," March 14, 1996.
The FDA is the only government agency which can provide comprehensive oversight of all aspects of tobacco products, including regulating the dangerous ingredients included in cigarettes, nicotine manipulation, advertising and promotion. This complete oversight is essential to protect children's health.
Unlike the United States Congress, the FDA would have the ability to swiftly modify its regulations to counteract changes in tobacco industry tactics, allowing the FDA more effectively to protect children from the hazards of tobacco use.
Most other agencies are prohibited from regulating tobacco because it has been exempted from every major consumer protection law passed by Congress, including the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.
The Food and Drug Administration is required, under the legislation which created it, to regulate products which are intended to affect "the structure and function of the body." Internal documents show that major tobacco companies have researched and understood the effects of nicotine and have deliberately designed their products to have these effects. Consider the following excerpts:
"In a sense, the tobacco industry may be thought of as being a specialized, highly ritualized, and stylized segment of the pharmaceutical industry. Tobacco products uniquely contain and deliver nicotine, a potential drug with a variety of physiological effects." (RJR executive Claude Teague, Jr., "RJR Confidential Research Planning Memorandum on the Nature of Nicotine and the Crucial Role of Nicotine Therein," also quoted in The New York Times, July 26, 1995.)
"The cigarette should be conceived not as a product but as a package. The product is nicotine.. Think of the cigarette as a dispenser for a dose unit of nicotine.. Think of a puff of smoke as the vehicle of nicotine." (Philip Morris researcher William Dunn as quoted in a 1972 Philip Morris document and The New York Times, April 4, 1994.)
Why Not "Compromise" with the Tobacco Industry?
Tobacco industry "compromise" proposals, such as Philip Morris' and UST's proposal, offer illusory protection for children from the dangers of tobacco. These proposals leave out the crucial elements which will lead to a significant reduction in the inception of adolescent tobacco use, including an industry-funded public education campaign, elimination of self-service displays, elimination of tobacco-brand sponsorship of sporting events, and meaningful restrictions on image advertising that appeals to children.
For more information on the Coalition on Smoking Or Health, see The American Heart Association.
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