New branding regulations have been instituted on tobacco companies, forcing them to remove descriptors like “light,” “ultra light,” and “mild” due to of all things false advertising. According to public health advocates, there’s no such thing as a “light” when referring to smokes.

The regulation, which was passed last year, goes into effect nationwide in June. If you’re a smoker, start preparing yourself now.

Personal experience has taught me that cashiers who probably have never smoked tend to have difficulty when searching for a particular brand, despite the fact they’re garishly labeled. I’ve lost my patience a couple of times as some poor store employee fumbles about and searches for a smoker’s particular brand. The smoker usually steps in and points out the brand’s location. I’ve watched these transactions occur over and over because the smoker is usually three people ahead of me when I’m in a hurry.

In an effort to make it easier on the smoker, and hopefully all of us, tobacco companies are changing the color of their packages so discerning inhalers still will be able to opt for their favorites. Thus, while honoring the law, tobacco manufacturers have found an easier way to distinguish their products.

Critics of tobacco are crying foul over the changes, stating while technically within legal limits, the color coded packs are just a way to skirt the rules.

According to Gregory N. Connolly, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, tobacco companies are cheating.

“They re circumventing the law,” Connolly said. “They re using color coding to perpetuate one of the biggest public health myths into the next century.”

They’re doing it legally as well. Marlboro Lights (Philip Morris), the hottest selling brand, will change their name to Marlboro Gold, and Marlboro Ultra Lights will change into Marlboro Silver.

R.J. Reynolds already changed one of their offerings, converting their silver boxed Salem Ultra Lights into Salem Silver Box. Whew. Big stretch there.

The new regulation was enacted as a result of findings from The National Cancer Institute’s studies on smoking that find absolutely no health benefit between smoking lights in comparison to other offerings. In fact, the Institute states lights may be worse for smokers due to a smoker’s tendency to inhale deeper.

The color coding option may not last long. The New York Times reported the Food and Drug Administration has “begun a federal review of the color coding approach, a step that could conceivably lead to further actions against products designated as light.”

In their efforts to save us from our own vices, the government seems to have missed a step by forcing cigarette companies to choose a single brand and run with it. That would lighten the load on everyone, forcing puffers to choose Marlboro or Marlboro Menthol, period.

Altria spokesperson David Sylvia said the tobacco company’s move to colored packs was a simple matter of product differentiation.

“Colors are really used to identify and differentiate different brand packs,” he said. “We do not use colors to communicate whether one product is less harmful or more harmful than another.”

One senior executive at Altria wrote a letter to the FDA that alluded to banning colors as being unconstitutional.

The new regulations give the FDA total control of the industry, requiring that companies must prove a cigarette is safer than conventional offerings in order for it to singled out as a “light.”

Congress banned some terms specifically. For instance, “low” and “mild” won’t be allowed to be used in any packaging or advertising. Congress also granted the FDA the power to ban where they saw fit.

Connolly said tobacco companies have known for a least a decade that the descriptors would be banned from advertisements and packaging. Of the new color codes, he noted red and dark green as being regular, menthols are blue, lights are gold or light green, and ultra lights are silver or orange.

“The myth of safer cigarettes is perpetuated,” Connolly said. “Light cigarettes unleashed a monster.”

While I agree that tobacco companies have continually duped the public, at times blatantly, consumers continued to buy cigarettes despite evidence telling them to quit immediately. We could have run away. Instead, we invited the monster to come live with us.

Connolly isn’t going to quibble over colors he’d rather have the FDA make the cigarettes taste like crap. Based on my own experiences, though, isn’t it a well documented fact that cigarettes already smell and taste like crap?

Tobacco companies could dip cigarettes in vomit with no discernible effect. I’ve seen people root around in ashtrays searching for a cigarette not burned all the way down.

Joe camel – wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marlboro cigarettes 1920s. duty free price cigarettes australia. cigarettes shop ‘cheap cigarettes 24×7′

The U.S. marketing team of R. J. Reynolds, looking for an idea to promote Camel’s 75th anniversary, re discovered Joe in the company’s archives in the late 1980s.

Quoted from The New York Times

Joe Camel was actually born in Europe. The caricatured camel was created in 1974 by a British artist, Billy Coulton, for a French advertising campaign that subsequently ran in other countries in the 1970s. Indeed, Mr. O’Toole recalled a visit to France many years ago during which he glimpsed Joe Camel wearing a Foreign Legion cap. The inspiration behind Mr. Price’s cartoon was the camel, named Old Joe, that has appeared on all Camel packages since the brand’s initial appearance in 1913. 1

Joe Camel first appeared in the U.S in 1988, in materials created for the 75th anniversary of the Camel brand by Trone Advertising. Trone is a mid size agency in Greensboro, N.C., that Reynolds used on various advertising and promotional projects.

Physical appearance edit

The character lacked many camel traits. Feet were always to be covered, in footwear consistent with the rest of the outfit. The character also lacked a tail or hump. 2 Advertising presented Joe Camel in a variety of “fun and entertaining, contemporary and fresh” situations, wearing “bold and bright” colors, blue and yellow where appropriate. His face remained the same in different advertising pieces, and images of his hands only used when necessary. 2

Controversy edit

In 1991, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study showing that by age six nearly as many children could correctly respond that “Joe Camel” was associated with cigarettes as could respond that the Disney Channel logo was associated with Mickey Mouse, and alleged that the “Joe Camel” campaign was targeting children, 3 despite R. J. Reynolds’ contention that the campaign had been researched only among adults and was directed only at the smokers of other brands. At that time it was also estimated that 32.8% of all cigarettes sold illegally to underage buyers were Camels, up from less than one percent. 4 Subsequently, the American Medical Association asked R. J. Reynolds Nabisco to pull the campaign. R. J. Reynolds refused, and the Joe Camel Campaign continued. In 1991, Janet Mangini, a San Francisco based attorney, brought a suit against R. J. Reynolds, challenging the company for targeting minors with its “Joe Camel” advertising campaign. In her complaint, Mangini alleged that teenage smokers accounted for US$476 million of Camel cigarette sales in 1992. When the Joe Camel advertisements started in 1988, that figure was only at US$6 million, “implicitly suggesting such advertisements have harmed a great many teenagers by luring them into extended use of and addiction to tobacco products.” 5

R. J. Reynolds has denied Joe Camel was intended to be directed at children the company maintains that Joe Camel’s target audience was 25 49 year old males and current Marlboro smokers. In response to the criticism, R. J. Reynolds instituted “Let’s Clear the Air on Smoking”, a campaign of full page magazine advertisements consisting entirely of text, typically set in large type, denying those charges, and declaring that smoking is “an adult custom”.

Internal documents produced to the court in Mangini v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, San Francisco County Superior Court No. 959516, demonstrated the industry’s interest in targeting children as future smokers. 6 The importance of the youth market was illustrated in a 1974 presentation by RJR’s Vice President of Marketing who explained that the “young adult market . . . represent s tomorrow’s cigarette business. As this 14 24 age group matures, they will account for a key share of the total cigarette volume for at least the next 25 years.” 7 A 1974 memo by the R. J. Reynolds Research Department points out that capturing the young adult market is vital because “virtually all smokers start by the age of 25” and “most smokers begin smoking regularly and select a usual brand at or before the age of 18.” 8

In July 1997, under pressure from the impending Mangini trial, Congress, and various public interest groups, RJR announced it would settle out of court and voluntarily end its Joe Camel campaign. A new campaign with a more adult theme debuted instead of Joe Camel, it had a plain image of a quadrupedal, non anthropomorphic camel. This image is still used in advertisements for Camel today. As part of the agreement, RJR also paid $10 million to San Francisco and the other California cities and counties who intervened in the Mangini litigation. This money was earmarked primarily to fund anti smoking efforts targeted at youth. 6

References edit