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Women's Magazines Should Drop Camel Cigarette Ads

Armen Hareyan's picture

It is a "big disappointment" that R.J. Reynoldshas "found an ally" in some women's magazines, which have "sold out thewell-being of their readers" by publishing Camel No. 9 cigaretteadvertisements, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) writes in a Washington Post opinion piece (Capps, Washington Post, 10/12).

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Reynoldsin February launched the brand, which several public healthorganizations and women's groups say are targeted at young women. Thecompany -- in an effort to increase its market share among femalesmokers, who made up about 30% of Camel buyers -- packaged thecigarettes in a "hot-pink fuchsia" and a "minty-green teal package" andadvertised the brand with the slogan, "Light and Luscious." An adcampaign for the brand says the cigarettes are now "available instiletto," a longer, thinner cigarette.

Reynolds, which is working with the agencies Agent 16 and Gyro Worldwide, has placed ads in magazines -- including Cosmopolitan, Flaunt, Glamour, Vogue and W -- and is distributing coupons and give-away packs at nightclubs (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report,8/17). According to Capps, she and 40 other members of Congress wroteletters in June and August expressing their disappointment that 11women's magazines were running ads for Camel No. 9 cigarettes. Seven ofthe 11 magazines have responded, but "none has committed to droppingthe ads," Capps said.

"No amount of pretty pink packaging canobscure the fact that lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer amongAmerican women," Capps writes. She concludes that the magazines need to"drop these ads" because the "health of readers, America's young womenand girls, should be more important than the revenue derived fromabetting the tobacco industry" (Washington Post, 10/12).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen's Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.