December 04, 2004

"No we aren't marketing cigarattes for kids..." Yeah. Right.

RJR Tobacco is marketing flavored Camel Cigarettes.

The flavors are sweet and the packaging is rather fanciful. Yet RJR insists that they aren't being marketed toward kids.

Many teens seem to like them, and the manufacturers said the brand is in demand.

The cigarettes come in flavors like lime, berry, pineapple and coconut.

"They're kind of tasty. It sounds like a gimmick for kids, you know. I walk in there, I see the bright colors and I'm, like, 'I need that cigarette,'" said Kenny Silver, 18, a high school senior.

"It's all colorful and really cool and groovy and they look nice and, of course, people automatically think, 'Oh, nice, I want to smoke these now,'" said Hedi Lowe, 18, also a high school senior.

But R.J. Reynolds, the manufacturer of Camel, said:

"We don't, under any circumstance, market our product to youth. Our adult consumers asked us and told us they like differentiated products. That is why we offer flavored cigarettes."

Camel's flavors include Kauai Kolada & Twista Lime. Other brands are getting into the game, including versions of Brown & Williamson's Kool with names like Caribbean Chill, Midnight Berry, Mocha Taboo and Mintrigue.

So you judge for yourself. Are they geared toward kids or not?

Posted by mhking at December 4, 2004 07:52 PM

What'd they do, hire away a coffee designer from Starbucks to work on cigarettes?

Posted by: Digger at December 5, 2004 08:42 AM

God forbid we fail to protect The Children from themselves.

Posted by: Beck at December 5, 2004 08:04 PM

I'd say no, but I'd also qualify that "no" with a "Who cares?" If cigarette companies are allowed to market at all, they can be accused of marketing to kids because there is not a single medium that adults have access to that cannot also be accessed by "kids." To call an 18 year-old a kid is contrary to common sense, anyway. The drinking age should be 18, as should the "smoking age." It is unconstitutional to restrict freedoms in that manner.

At the age of 18, a guy or gal can die for their country, but not be afforded the rights other citizens who are 3 years older have? Crazy.

Posted by: skh at December 6, 2004 06:17 PM

Ok, how does one market to adults without marketing to kids?

Posted by: SparseMatrix at December 6, 2004 09:24 PM

First, while cigarettes are legal, cigarette makers are going to do all they can to expand and hold on to their market. If minors make decisions based on the general marketing of new types of cigarette, then it is time to put focus on the kids, not the marketers.

Second, while new flavors will appeal to minors, they will also appeal to many adults who smoke other brands, or who may not smoke at all. The problem here is that if cigarettes makers work to put an aire of "cool" on there product, then minors will want to be a part of that. However if they don't put on those aires, then no one new will want to be a part of it.

Not a bad outcome, but how can you expect an industry to put itself out of business?

Posted by: Byron R at December 7, 2004 12:20 PM

Exactly, Byron R. Until the gummint makes tobacco illegal (which will never happen), it is an impossibility that tobacco companies can actively advertise their products exclusively to those over the age of 21. Hell, look at advertising in general. Most of it is designed for people with adolescent minds...much like broadly-circulated periodicals are written at the 8th grade level or so.

I personally hate cigarette smoke, but I don't have the visceral hatred of cigarettes that some do. If somebody is blowing smoke at me, I calmly pull out my can of Copenhagen snuff, pack in an extry-large dip, and ask the jackass if he wishes reciprocal treatment. I've never had anybody take me up on that offer. Yet.

Posted by: skh at December 7, 2004 05:38 PM

Well why don't they market alcohol to people that are over 21. Look at how many teenagers get drunk at parties. It's just because you don't see a person sit and drink all the time. Especially teenagers but of course you'll see them smoke a cigarette. Like was commented earlier, you can't just not market it to adults over 21 because it seems to be that at the age of 18 you are an adult. Make up your mind. When do I get to be an adult? When I turn 21, so that means that I should fight in no war, I should not be able to go to prison yet. Technically then I should still be a juvenile. Give me my rights as an adult or make me a juvenile again. Because if I'm to be a responsible adults, then give me the responsibilities that I should have. Because apparently I'm old enough to die for the country, but not come home after a hard day of work and drink a beer. Hell I can't even gamble with MY money. It is wrong, I gained a chance of prison for a crime that would have gotten me probation while a juvenile, and the ability to smoke cigarettes. Yet we all seem to be in that same age group. Where we seem to have similar interests. Such as drinking and smoking. And for some reason advertising that is supposed to be directed at a 21 year old makes a statement to an 18 year old too. Come on.

Posted by: Heath at June 14, 2005 12:05 PM
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