Even without cigarette advertising on television, another study showed, 6 year old children were as familiar with Old Joe Camel as they were with the Mickey Mouse logo for the Disney Channel.
The new studies were among several on cigarettes published in today’s issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers said their reports were the first to document the effects on young people’s smoking habits of a particular advertising campaign. Even very young children see, understand and remember the advertisements, even better than adults, the researchers said. No Increase in Smoking
Although there has not been an overall increase in smoking by children and teen agers since the cartoon campaigns began three years ago, the researchers said they feared the advertisements were undermining educational efforts about the hazards of smoking and luring youths into becoming addicted smokers.
Officials at R. J. Reynolds said the campaign was aimed at smokers in their 20’s, not children, and they denied that it had changed smoking habits of people under 18.
“It’s not in our interest to have a campaign that encourages underage people to smoke because that would greatly increase the chance that the government would step in and restrict our ability to communicate with the adult smoking market,” said Peggy Carter, spokesperson for R. J Reynolds, a subsidiary of RJR Nabisco.
Ms. Carter insisted that the Old Joe Camel “smooth character” campaign was designed to stop a long standing shrinkage of the brand’s share of the market by convincing smoking adults that Camels were a smooth choice. She said that according to the company’s market analysis, which surveys only adult smokers, 2 percent of the smokers of Camels, at most, were under 18 years old and that the campaign had succeeded at keeping Camel’s market share at about 4 percent but had not resulted in any overall growth.
The findings in the studies prompted the researchers and Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, who wrote an accompanying editorial in The Journal, to urge a total ban on cigarette advertising, which, according to an industry policy, is not supposed to be aimed at children.
But Dr. John P. Pierce, cancer prevention specialist at the University of California at San Diego, said that the industry’s stated intent is meaningless when the facts speak otherwise. In 1990, Dr. Pierce found that among 5,040 California youths, 22 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys smoked chose Camels. His study, as well as others in The Journal, suggest that stabilization of the Camels’ share of the market resulted in large part from the dramatic increase in young people taking up Camels as new smokers or switching to them from other brands. Giveaway Program Cited
Dr. Pierce said in an interview that the promotional giveaways for Camels were an additional draw for youths, in addition to print and billboard advertisements. With each package, consumers receive one unit of Camel cash, a so called C note. Three C notes can be traded for a T shirt with the cartoon Camel on it, 10 for a Camel baseball cap, 25 for a Camel watch and 75 for a Camel emblazoned inflatable mattress with a radio. “These are all items that kids would want, and the only way to get them it to buy Camel cigarettes,” Dr. Pierce said.
“RJR spent $100 million in 1990 both on its advertising campaign and on promotional giveaways of items that are appealing to adolescents,” Dr. Pierce and his colleagues reported. “The greatest recognition of the Camel advertising campaign occurred in the youngest age group examined in this study,” those 12 to 13.
Could i be allergic to camel cigarettes?
I just searched for an allergic reaction to camel cigarettes and so far this is the only thing I' ve found. I smoke all kinds of cigarettes (because I tend to get bored), and camels lights and turkishs were some that I smoked pretty often. The past few months I have had a chronic cough and have an appointment with a pulmonary doctor now. I think I was smoking camels a lot at this time, and my throat closes up so that it' s hard to breathe. I do not get a sore throat, but I do get a really bad tickle in my throat which makes me have to cough. Just recently I have recently switched to Marlboro Smooths, and my cough has significantly gotten a lot better in the past few weeks. Yesterday I bought a pack of blues just because, and the cough immediately came back. It is also hard to breathe because my throat feels like it is closed up again. I know they have recently switched the box that blues came in, and I notice a change in taste, too. I don' t know. I really think I am allergic and I will continue to search.