Entrepreneur Strives to Change Perceptions About Smoking
Are smokers of today aware that during World War I cigarettes were considered tasteless and unmanly? Most men preferred cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco. At the time cigarettes proved to be more convenient in the trenches and our government began putting cigarettes in soldiers' rations. Many soldiers changed their method of acquiring tobacco shortly thereafter. Cigarettes became known as the choice of warriors, because of this simple marketing tactic used by The American Tobacco Company. As profits started to skyrocket from the increase of men's cigarette smoking, it became evident a marketing scheme must be developed to attract women smokers.
Beginning in the 1920's Edward L. Bernays was one of the first and most successful public relations experts of his time. Many consider Bernays to be the Father of Public Relations. His precedent-setting marketing campaigns for the American Tobacco Company, climaxed when he staged a parade of cigarette-smoking debutantes marching down Fifth Avenue on Easter Sunday. The parade was designed to change the negative perception of women smoking cigarettes and turn it into an act of liberation for them. Strangely enough cigarettes now became looked at as "The Torches of Freedom," as the event was poetically named. Ten debutantes were paid to walk down Fifth Avenue in New York with lit cigarettes while the pre-warned media took their pictures. Bernays PR stints tore down barriers, which people had over women smoking in public places, making Lucky Strikes cigarettes, the fastest growing brand in the country. This event marked the first time women smoked openly on the streets. During days following the event women were seen smoking on the streets all across the nation.
With Bernays help, the tobacco industry convinced a generation of women to light up. His next public relations scheme was to play on women's historical fear of fat. The genius marketer persuaded weight-conscious women that a cigarette was just the thing to substitute for a sweet. He highly publicized Lucky Strike's slogan "Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet." Largely supported by the medical community in his claims, Bernays created the imagery that impacted the nation from Hollywood to Wall Street. And he did it all without anyone knowing his client The American Tobacco Company was behind it. One of his main job duties was to daily discredit new research linking smoking to deadly diseases. Bernays was successful for many years refuting claims of smoking health risks.
In his early twenties, Detroit Entrepreneur Craig Nabat had a terrible time kicking his own cigarette habit, but he was finally able to quit after many attempts. For seven years Nabat kept his promise to himself he would never smoke again. Then one high-stressed lonely business trip to Hong Kong brought Nabat's nicotine addiction back with a thunder. He bummed a cigarette off a nearby bar patron; that single cigarette ended up bringing on a year and half 30 cigarette a day smoking habit. With the growth of his manufacturing and marketing business came more hours, more travel and more cigarettes. In a state of self-loathing, he turned skeptically to laser therapy as a last resort. To his surprise, the treatment made quitting smoking effortless.
Like Bernays, Nabat is in the business of marketing and PR. After being treated in Canada for his nicotine addiction in January 2003, he became passionate about opening his own laser therapy clinic in Los Angeles called Freedom Laser Therapy. Nabat has plans for an aggressive global public relations campaign that will rival Bernays PR wizardry to globally treat smokers' for their nicotine addiction.
Like Nabat, Bernays was a young, ambitious entrepreneur with unorthodox methods of delivering his marketing message to the masses. Bernays was extremely successful in lighting the torch for the tobacco industry, leaving the difficult job of dousing it for Nabat and other antismoking advocates.
Nabat's first hand battle with nicotine addiction sparked a fire in him to help other smokers who just can't seem to quit. In addition, Nabat is driven to change the perception of teens and young adults that smoking is no longer something cool to do. Nabat claims, "A marketing genius backed by millions in advertising dollars tricked us into thinking smoking is glamorous, cool, and sexy." "Now it is my quest to enlighten smokers that they were just duped and through the usage of laser therapy undue global damage already caused by cigarette smoking."
Dr. Karen Stewart is a registered psychologist, working under the advisement of Dr. Rueben Vaisman. Karen graduated from the California School of Professional Psychology with a doctorate in clinical psychology.
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