The War On Cigarette Advertising

Those who were born a couple of decades ago will remember the way they were bombarded with cigarette advertising in all types of media, be it on the net, in advertisement breaks on television shows, on the cinema screen, in magazines, newspapers, and much more. However, the volume of the advertising of cigarettes has dropped sharply over the past few years. Not all people know that smoking cigarettes leads to cancer of the mouth, throat, and lungs. It is due to the hundreds of toxic chemical compounds that cigarette smoke consists of. Apart from this, miniscule particulates of the toxic chemical compounds affects even those who do not smoke but are present in an improperly ventilated room where somebody else is smoking a cigarette, as the particulates float in the air and get into their system whenever they inhale air inside that room through passive smoking. The advertisements that typically displayed smokers as something manly, used to lure a majority of teenagers, who had no idea about the dangers that cigarette fumes contain. It was because of this that the government imposed a ban on cigarette ads.


The fine print

Cigarette manufacturers too have had a part to play. Despite warnings by the government to ensure that advertisements regarding promotion of cigarettes should also contain a warning informing viewers of the deadly effects of cigarette fumes, the manufacturers tried their best to ensure that viewers of the ads did not see the warning message. Instead of displaying the warning text... the surgeon general has determined that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health... prominently, they used to put the same in extremely small text and put this message in such an inconspicuous manner that viewers of the ads would hardly be able to view it. After repeated and unsuccessful attempts, the government finally imposed a ban on cigarette advertisements on all type of media. Thanks to this massive and successful effort on banning such ads, the manufacturers of cigarettes have no options left apart from the print marketing to promote their products. This effectively ensured that a hefty percentage of teenagers would no longer be able to view cigarette promotional ads and videos. As a result, the number of smokers fell down drastically. Apart from this, massive advertising campaigns by the government have also played a huge role in informing the public about the health hazards posed by cigarette fumes.

Extra information about print marketing available here.


When was cigarette advertising at its peak?

Cigarette advertising was at its peak prior to 1965, when the government banned advertising of tobacco products on TV under the Television Act 1964. Since other types of advertisement were already regulated by a self-regulatory agreement between the manufacturers and the government, the cigarette industry had no options available except from print marketing to promote their products. Another law also forced the manufacturers to put an image of a damaged artery along with the text "smoking clogs your artery."


What used to be the main form of advertising for cigarettes?

Glossy magazines apart, television advertising was the main form of advertising for the cigarette industry.