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August 15, 2007--LCA joined American Legacy Foundation (ALF) and more than 45 groups dedicated to protecting and improving women’s health by calling for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to remove its Camel No. 9 cigarettes from stores across the nation. With its stylish packaging and advertising featuring black, bright pink and teal colors, a female-friendly design motif and a name evocative of women’s fashion icons, Camel No. 9 is directly targeted to teenage girls and young women.
The impact of Camel No. 9 advertising and packaging on young women is a serious public health threat. In the wake of the Camel No. 9 launch, more than 40 members of Congress called on women’s magazines to refuse advertising for this product, because the members see such ads as direct attempts to attract girls and young women to smoking. (Click here to view the letter. (.pdf)) On August 1, 2007, members of Congress sent a follow-up letter to leading women’s publications, urging them to consider to “voluntarily adopt an institutional policy of rejecting cigarette advertising aimed at young people” and asking for a response by August 15.
While R.J. Reynolds’ marketing executives say that their Camel No. 9 ad campaign is solely aimed at adult women who already smoke, the more than 40 public health and women’s groups who have signed on to the letter understand that the facts say otherwise. In internal company documents made public, an R.J. Reynolds executive once explained that, “It is relatively easy for a brand to retain 18-year-old smokers once it has attracted them. Conversely, it is very difficult to attract a smoker that has already been won over by a different brand.”
Since lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women, LCA has joined ALF and others in calling for R.J. Reynolds to remove Camel No. 9 from the marketplace. Together, we hope that this action will prevent hundreds of thousands of young women and teen-age girls from starting to smoke, from becoming addicted to nicotine and from dying prematurely because of smoking-caused disease, especially lung cancer.
View Letter to RJ Reynolds (.pdf)