Tobacco advertisements are, by nature, controversial—especially when they involve teen influence. In a look at the desperate attempts to get teenage girls to smoke and buy cigarettes, a new study shows that 2007 and 2008 ads by R.J. Reynolds, the company that produces Camel No. 9 cigarettes, largely targeted and influenced teenage girls to smoke.
Camel cigarettes were packaged with pink trimmings and had a glossy feel that resembled fashion spreads and women’s magazines. The company even offered promotional giveaways like berry lip balm and cell phone jewelry. And it worked—44 percent of teenage girls said they had a favorite cigarette ad, and the number of girls who said Camel was their favorite ad nearly doubled.  In response, R.J. Reynolds issued a statement saying their advertising strategy “does not take any action to target youth.” But who are they kidding? Given all our knowledge now of the harmful effects of smoking, it’s sad to see such desperate advertisements are still manufactured—especially at the cost of our youth’s health. [via The New York Times]