Tobacco Advertising and its Effects on Young People

Ryan Sharp English 10

In this world there are many injustices that deal with our children. A
main injustice is the advertising of tobacco directed to our youths. Every day
3,000 children start smoking, most of them between the ages of 10 and 18. These
kids account for 90 percent of all new smokers. In fact, 90 percent of all
adults state that they first start smoking as a teenager. The statistics
clearly show that young people are the prime targets of tobacco sales.

The head of these media companies are Marlboro and Camel. Marlboro uses
a western character known as The Marlboro Man, and Camel uses the “smooth
character” Joe Camel. Joe Camel who is shown as a camel with complete style has
been attacked by many Tobacco-Free Kids organizations as a major influence on
the children of America. Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia report
that almost as many 6-year olds recognize Joe Camel as they do Mickey Mouse.
That is very shocking information for any parent to hear. Children are
attracted by these advertisements because they like cartoons, and they think
that a cartoon is harmless and what the cartoon does is harmless too. There is
so much cigarette advertising out there a child is sure to be struck by its

The companies deny that these symbols target people under 21 and claim
that their advertising goal is simply to promote brand switching. Illinois Rep.
Richard Durbin disagrees with this statement stating “If we can reduce the
number of young smokers, the tobacco companies will be in trouble and they know
it”. The companies go toward a market that is not fully aware of the harm that
cigarettes are capable of to keep their industry alive and well.

When kids were asked why they started smoking, they gave two
contradictory reasons: They wanted to be a part of the crowd. Children don\'t
want to be left out, they want to be wanted. If their peers are smoking then
they will want to smoke too. They also wanted to reach out and rebel at the
same time. When children are told over and over by more authoritative people
not to do something, then they are going to do it. They do this just to get
back at the authorities or to satisfy their curiosity. Teens also think of
smoking as a sign of independence. The surprising thing is that these kids know
that they are being influenced by cigarette advertising.

Here are three things on how to stop the future of America from smoking.
Try to convince your children that smoking is not cool. If a child is talked to
by there parents then they will listen to what they have to say. Talk to your
kids at a young age about the dangers of smoking. If children are informed of
the dangers cigarettes provide then they will prevent themselves from smoking.
Identify family members who smoke and ask them to quit. If children are not
around the habit then they won\'t have a reason to pick it up.

Children are the most valuable assets we are given in life. Let\'s try
to educate them while they\'re young to be independent thinkers and to not be
swayed by the tobacco companies who are trying to take advantage of their mind
and body.

Category: Science