Tobacco Industry Marketing

November 8, 2017

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Learn About The Specific Populations Tobacco Companies Intentionally Market To

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco companies specifically market to the following audiences:

Youth and Young Adults

There is clear evidence that indicates tobacco company advertising influences young people to start using tobacco. Tobacco advertisements make smoking seem appealing, which can increase adolescents’ desire to smoke.


Tobacco marketing toward women is dominated by advertisements featuring slim, attractive, and athletic models; which ultimately makes smoking seem desirable.

 Racial/Ethnic Communities

The advertisement of certain tobacco products appear to be targeted specifically toward racial/minority communities:

    • Marketing to Hispanics and American Indians/Alaska Natives

    • Market menthol cigarettes to African American communities:

                ◦ Campaigns use urban culture and language to promote menthol cigarettes

                ◦ Tobacco-sponsored hip-hop bar nights which include samples of menthol cigarettes

                ◦ Targeted through mail promotions

    • Marketing toward Asian Americans:

                ◦ Sponsor Chinese and Vietnamese New Year festivals

                ◦ Billboard and in-store advertisements in urban Asian American communities

                ◦ Financial contributions to community organizations

                ◦ Support Asian American business associations

People with Mental Illness

The tobacco industry has historically marketed cigarettes specifically to those who are mentally ill.

•   Developed relationships with homeless shelters and advocacy groups to gain support

•   Approximately two thirds of the severely mentally ill experience or risk homelessness

•   The mentally ill are estimated to buy almost half of the cigarettes sold in the United States

•   Mental illness and chemical dependency may make the homeless more susceptible to marketing efforts that suggest cigarettes help people “cope with stress”

To learn more about tobacco, check out the Healthy UNH website and remember to attend the Great American Smokeout on November 16th! 

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