Do you believe RJ Reynolds or Philip Morris should have a right to advertise on a billboard across the street from a local school to promote their tobacco products?
I suspect the answer to that quesiton will largely determine if you read on.
In Marketing 101 they hammer home, know your demographics and lure them in as job #1. When you are limited by competitors or anti smoking laws then you do the next best thing and find a new generation of customers. RJ Reynolds or Philip Morris are doing just that. SNUS is a smokeless, spitlesss chewing tobacco substitute. Camel is running trials of SNUS in Austin, Tx and Portland, Or. RJ Reynolds product is called Toboka.
SNUS/Toboka are tiny dime sized bags filled with tobacco. The tobacco is steam pasturiezed, not fermented like most chewing tobacco, so users don’t have to spit out the juices. The small and tidy pouches are sold 20 to a tin and come in 3 flavors (spice, normal, frost). I’m sure the chewing gum conincendence is just that…
No-one from the tobacco industry would ever go on the record stating an intent to position and sale their product to kids. Rather, it’s a “young adult marketing strategy” and we want those hip young adults using our products. Targeting 20 somethings does waterfall down to the 16 year-old wanna-be-hip-ster youth.Chewing tobaccos, including SNUS, are safer than cigerettes, but can cause mouth and throat cancer and heart disease. I’m sure there will be a debate if the product can help you reduce dependence on cigerettes or adopt less-bad habits.
I grew up in a smokers house and remember blue-hazed filled automobiles and during the holiday’s you couldn’t see the Christmas tree let alone catch a breath. I have a bias, but I watched my father spend years doing the stop/start routine. After 25+ years of smoking he finally quit the nicotine habit which we were all very proud.
I’m a bit conflcted about a Tobacco Billboard advertisement. I don’t believe it should be visible from a school. A product that doesn’t look like tobacco, doesn’t smell like tobacco, can be used and nobody will notice is either brilliant or devious in targeting the youth demographic. I’m suspicious as these are the same companies that put 50+ carcinogenic compounds into cigarettes and we’re to take it on faith that SNUS is somehow a healthy product — That’s not logical.