Years ago, a popular cigarette advertising campaign proudly proclaimed to women, "You've come a long way, baby!"
But a recent study of teens shows the war on cigarette advertising that targets teens, especially teenage girls, might still have a ways to go.
Although the 1998 settlement agreement between big tobacco and state governments restricted advertising to children and teens, nearly half of teenage girls participating in the study could name their favorite cigarette ad. What's more, the study found that teenagers who could name a favorite cigarette ad were 50 percent more likely to have smoked during the five-year study period.
One ad campaign in particular stood out in the minds of teen girls and increased their awareness of cigarette advertising, the study found. The product was Camel No. 9 cigarettes, and the ads featured a pink camel and a sub-brand of cigarettes called Stiletto. In addition to the very feminine ads placed in such magazines as Glamour and Vogue, the campaign also featured promotional giveaways, including flavored lip balm, purses and cell phone jewelry.
R.J. Reynolds, which makes Camel No. 9, said that the product and the advertisements were not designed to attract teenagers. "Camel No. 9 was developed in response to female adult smokers, both of Camel and competitive brands, who were asking for a product that better reflected their taste preferences and style," according to a prepared statement issued by the tobacco company.
"When Camel No. 9 was launched in 2007, all magazine advertisements for it appeared in publications whose readership was at least 85 percent age 18 or older," the statement continued. "More importantly, R.J. Reynolds has not run any print advertising for cigarettes, including Camel No. 9, for more than two years, and there has been no in-store advertising for Camel No. 9 since 2008."