Cigarette advertising has been banned from UK television since 1965, under powers granted by the Television Act 1964. Other forms of advertising and promotion were previously restricted by two voluntary agreements that were negotiated, periodically, between the Government and the tobacco industry. Advertising was covered by one agreement and the other governed tobacco sponsorship of sport.
Unfortunately, the agreements were unsuccessful in reducing advertising and their negotiations had little impact. In the case of exposing children and young people to cigarette publicity, the agreements imposed a ban on billboard tobacco advertising within a 200metre range of schools, but avoided completely, the effect of marketing outside the 200metres. Ash. (2002).
The Parliamentary Health Select Committee conducted inquiries into the tobacco industry and concluded; “Voluntary agreements have served the industry well and the public badly. Regulations have been seen by tobacco companies as hurdles to be overcome or side-stepped; legislation banning advertising as a challenge, a policy to be systematically undermined by whatever means possible.” Ash. (2002).For cigarette companies, sponsoring sports was a successful alternative to advertising their brands on television. Ash claims that the companies targeted popular sports such as snooker, motor racing and rugby, which notoriously draw in millions of viewers. This constant appearance of cigarette brand names encouraged viewers to associate cigarettes with their favourite sport, thus adding to the representation that smoking is ‘cool’ and exciting, especially to children. According Ash, research in this area showed that children as young as six, associate brands such as Marlboro with ‘excitement and fast cars’.
As regulations tightened on tobacco advertising, companies were looking further into different styles of advertising. Many found marketing other products with a shared brand name, such as Marlboro Classics clothing and Camel boots, to be successful. For the tobacco industry, this kind of advertising was a loophole in the regulations, but this is also now banned under the terms of the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act.The Ash website includes a warning that, in addition to the above, some tobacco companies have set up websites masquerading as information sites about nightclubs or other events. Young people are inevitably attracted to these websites, where cigarettes are heavily promoted. In March, 1997, the Centre for Media Education (CME) released a report on the public health concern of that time: “Alcohol and Tobacco on the Web, New Threats to Youth.
” A total of 66 tobacco sites were examined with regard to their particular appeal (or non-appeal) to children in their marketing techniques. Sites examined were found through search engines, links from other sites, or through articles in the trade press. Due to the small number of popular tobacco brands featured on the internet, sites promoting the lifestyle of smoking or sites selling and distributing tobacco products were included in the analysis.The CME found that the general smoking lifestyle sites, which constituted 36 percent of all sites that were analysed, had the greatest youth appeal. Many of these sites attempted to glamorise smoking through the emulation of celebrities. Common features included pictures of (usually female) celebrities smoking, pro-smoking articles, and smoking advice.
The main message of these sites was that smoking is cool.There are many organizations which specialize in preventing young people from indulging in smoking, such as ASH, but three years ago, tobacco companies themselves pledged their support. Their supposedly honest and respectable campaign took a sinister twist when huge British American tobacco companies BAT and Philip Morris were found guilty of fraud over teenage anti-smoking campaigns.The companies spent $3.6m (approximately ï¿½2.4m) on an advertising campaign on MTV Europe, which they claimed was designed to persuade a target group of 12-17 year olds not to smoke.
The Ash website confirmed, “MTV Europe is shown in 38 European area countries, and is largely youth-focused.” The campaign was launched in April 2001, and ran until July 15. The campaign adopted the form of advertisement films, which were shown on MTV Europe, which depicted European teenagers doing normal, “cool” teenage activities, while being non-smokers.The tobacco companies adopted a public posture of opposition to teenage smoking and even funded anti-smoking initiatives for teenagers. An investigation by ASH and The Cancer Research Campaign, however, revealed that this was no more than a cynical public relations strategy.
The tobacco companies had attempted to excuse themselves from the significant restrictions on tobacco adverting and gain PR advantage. It was found that the proposed methods were unlikely to reduce youth smoking and, instead, made it look more attractive by positioning cigarettes as an adult product and smoking as rebellious.It appears that, although the Government is making huge attempts to curb teen smoking, outside factors are continuously willing to destroy all that is being done. The issue of smoking among young people is a problem that cannot easily be solved. EU Ruling for Cigarette Costs and Health Warnings It is now impossible to fall ignorant of the fact that smoking has severe consequences. Under the EU ruling in February 2003, tobacco companies have to cover at least 30% of the front of the cigarette packets and 40% of the back with health warnings. Since the advertising alterations cigarette and tobacco packets have been emblazoned with large black and white labels inscribed with various health warnings.
The latest messages are clearly designed to shock and display statements such as, ‘Smoking causes a slow and painful death’ and ‘Smoking while pregnant harms your baby.’Cigarette companies have also been prohibited from using phrases such as ‘light’ and ‘mild’ on packets. The ruling limits the actual amount of nicotine that goes into the cigarettes, and even bigger health warnings on packets could be emerging from autumn 2003. The cost of cigarettes also continues to increase in at a rapid rate. The tax on tobacco was increased in line with inflation from 6pm on Budget day and the new rates came into effect from midnight on 12 April 2003. This represents an increase of 2.8%, equating to an 8p increase on a packet of 20 cigarettes.It is questionable as to whether these attempts to reduce smoking actually have any effect.
For those already addicted, health warnings and price increases are a mild deterrent and for those who are influenced into smoking, they may be just a difficulty to overcome. The Rise in Teenage Smoking Throughout Britain In our modern British society, smoking is fast becoming a huge problem to the health of our younger generation. Research has shown that the number of young children who experiment with cigarettes has risen sharply in the past several years. The dangers of smoking are endlessly severe and young people who take up smoking are risking their health to a great extent.The price of such a habit is very expensive. The current price of an average packet of twenty cigarettes is 4.50. Having smoked one packet of cigarettes every day for a year, the smoker would have spent a total of 1642.
50 solely on cigarettes. Smoking holds such high health risks and is also an extremely expensive addiction. There are many negative risks associated with smoking cigarettes, according to Emma N Taylor, in The Dangers of Smoking.
(No date specified). “Smoking can cause a diminished or extinguished sense of smell and taste, frequent colds, premature and more abundant face wrinkles, stroke, heart disease, cancer of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, oesophagus, lungs, pancreas, and tongue, among other things.” Many people believe that smoking relaxes the body and eases stress, however the American Cancer Society claims that smoking can actually cause or further increase stress, nervousness, and agitation rather than be calming.