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Donít inhale the hype: smoking and advertising

Editor:

Quitting smoking isnít easy, especially when tobacco companies spend billions each year on advertising and lobbying.

The 2014 Surgeon Generalís Report listed nine tobacco industry tactics that undermine public health: intimidation, alliances, front groups, campaign funding, lobbying, legislative action, buying expertise, philanthropy and advertising/public relations.

The report cites the following examples:

Ė Engineering cigarettes to create and sustain addiction, e.g., adding chemicals that cause nicotine to reach the brain quicker and adding flavors like menthol that reduces the harshness of smoke, particularly for young people.

Ė Casting doubt on the dangers of smoking and of secondhand smoke.

Ė Denying research that shows advertising increases smoking.

Ė Engaging in marketing that obscures the dangers of smoking.

Ė Aggressively marketing to children with campaigns like Joe Camel.

Ė Resisting efforts by the military to reduce tobacco use by military personnel, through artificially low prices and providing free samples and coupons, in violation of military policy.

Ė Conducting cost-lowering promotions that disproportionately affect price-sensitive smokers, such as youth and young adults.

Ė Developing a commercial relationship with the movie industry, to place tobacco products in films between the 1920s -1970s.

Ė Challenging FDA efforts to protect consumers, such as suing to block graphic warning labels.

If you smoke, donít believe the tobacco companies! Their product is toxic and itís killing you.

If you want to quit, talk to your doctor for help. Medications are available, even for those who fear they cannot afford it. Each year, Medicaid covers two-90 day supplies of medications that can help. You can also call the New York State Smokersí Quitline, at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487).

Quitting smoking now is the fastest way to improve your health and quality of life. Please take that first step!

Erica Sebastian
Tobacco Cessation Center Coordinator
Tobacco Cessation Center at Southern Tier Health Care System


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