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Tobacco Companies Targeting Young People Every day 3000 kids start smoking most of them between the ages of10 and 18 These kids add up to 90 percent of all new smokers Roberts 38 Thesestatistics show us that young people are the main targets of the tobacco companies Thecigarette manufacturers will deny it but advertising and promotion play a very importantpart in making these statistics a reality The two main companies in this advertising war are Marlboro and CamelMarlboro uses a western cowboy called the Marlboro Man while Camel uses Joe Camel a hipcartoon character Everywhere you go there is billboards or some other kind ofadvertisement on these two shady characters When I say shady I imply that thesecharacters are not just figures we see but they are traps just waiting to lure the nextvictim in As kids look through magazines and see Joe Camel driving a cool car andsurrounded by beautiful women they get the idea that in order to be somebody they need tosmoke a Camel cigarette It is not right to prey on young people just because they areunaware of the dangers of smoking The tobacco industry denies that these symbols target people less than21 and claim that their advertising goal is simply to promote brand switching and loyaltyMany people disagree with this statement such as Illinois Rep Richard Durbin who saidIf we can reduce the number of young smokers the tobacco companieswill be in trouble and they know itRoberts 38 The problem we are facing is not only with the tobacco companies butwith the young people also The reason why I say this is because most youths know thatthey are being targeted If these kids realize that the advertising is manipulating themwhy do they still smoke The ads reflect an image of rebellion and fitting in These areall the things a young person between childhood and adolescence needs and desires Thistype of advertising on top of peer pressure is the mystery
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