Smoking and Health
Tobacco products, including cigarettes, are dangerous and addictive. There is overwhelming medical and scientific evidence that smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and other serious diseases.
All tobacco products are addictive. It can be very difficult to quit smoking, but this should not deter smokers who want to quit from trying to do so.
Public health officials have concluded that secondhand smoke from cigarettes causes serious diseases in non smokers, including lung cancer and heart disease. We believe the public health conclusions on secondhand smoke are sufficient to support smoking restrictions in public places.
Philip Morris International (PMI) supports comprehensive regulation of tobacco products based on the principle of harm reduction.
To be effective, tobacco regulatory policy must be evidence based, apply to all tobacco products, and should take into account the views of all legitimate stakeholders including public health authorities, government finance authorities, tobacco manufacturers, and other members of the tobacco supply chain. Regulatory policy must consider the potential to trigger adverse consequences which undermine public health objectives, such as increasing the demand for illicit cigarettes.
While we support comprehensive, effective tobacco regulation, we do not support regulation that prevents adults from buying and using tobacco products or that imposes unnecessary impediments to the operation of the legitimate tobacco market. In that regard, we oppose measures such as generic packaging, point of sale display bans, total bans on communications to adult consumers, and bans on the use of all ingredients in tobacco products.
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The Marlboro Man is an American icon (symbol). The cowboy figure used to market Marlboro cigarettes captures the essence of the ideal American man. The Marlboro Man has displayed the distinctive red Marlboro cigarette pack for almost fifty years on billboards, in store window displays, and on the pages of magazines and newspapers.
But Marlboro cigarettes were not always sold using the image of this macho figure. When Marlboro cigarettes were first introduced in the 1920s, they were marketed to women, with the slogan “Mild as May.” This approach was successful until World War II (1939 45), when slow sales caused Marlboro packs to be withdrawn from the market. The cigarettes were revived in the 1950s, as the first medical research linking cigarette smoking with cancer began to reach the public. It was thought that Marlboro cigarettes, with their filter, might offer smokers the illusion of a reduced health risk. However, the filter was regarded as effeminate by many men, who made up the bulk of the market.
The Leo Burnett Company, a Chicago advertising agency, was given the task of making Marlboro cigarettes appealing to men. The result was the “tattooed man” campaign. It involved a series of print ads showing a man with a tattoo on his hand holding a Marlboro. The man would be one of several “manly” types, such as a policeman, a firefighter, a construction worker or a cowboy. The agency studied consumer response, and the cowboy figure proved to be the most popular. By 1957, the cowboy had replaced all the others. The image of the rugged Westerner lighting up amidst the great outdoors became a part of American culture. It also helped to make Marlboro the best selling cigarette in America.