History of tobacco advertising to children

Lots of people out there seem to mistakenly think that vaping targets kids. While it’s a shame that this myth exists, we understand that it comes from history. For decades, Big Tobacco has been wrongfully targeting youth with ads and packaging that appeal to them.

Tobacco companies target children in a number of ways, but mostly through advertising. Many people remember Old Joe Camel, the uber-cool cartoon camel who represented, of course, Camel cigs in print ads for decades. In 1991, the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that Old Joe was “far more successful at marketing Camel cigarettes to children than to adults.” After years of pressure from medical and anti-smoking organisations, Old Joe Camel was retired in 1997.

In recent history, there has been legislation passed in many countries that bans advertising of nicotine products that overtly targets kids and teens. Unfortunately, Big Tobacco is as smart and tenacious as it is evil, and they’ve figured out other ways to reach the youth market, such as placing ads low, so they are at a child’s eye level.  Horrifying, right?

Tobacco companies also continue to employ marketing methods that are popular among young people such as giveaways, sponsoring sports events, and placing ads near schools. So if you needed a reason other than the awful effects smoking has on your body to hate Big Tobacco, you can add their utter disregard for the health of kids to the list.