Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kids' Favorite Cigarette Brands

In 1998, Altria's Philip Morris USA subsidiary voluntarily established a Youth Smoking Prevention department, and has long touted its efforts in that area. So how's it doing? According to a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Altria's Marlboro brand is the most frequently smoked cigarette among middle school and high school students who smoke.

Could it have something to do with the fact that Marlboro is the most heavily advertised cigarette brand in the country? Or that data have shown that youth-oriented anti-smoking media campaigns funded by the tobacco industry tend to increase smoking?

In fact, the CDC study showed that the three most heavily advertised cigarette brands - Marlborough, Camel and Newport - are the brands of preference for nearly 80 percent of middle school smokers and for nearly 90 percent of high school smokers.

This is just one more reason that Partnership feels that Congress needs to introduce and pass legislation to allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the tobacco industry and its marketing practices. And it's why we need to fund more mass media campaigns that aren't dependent upon the tobacco industry for support.


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