Tobacco Advertising And Promotion
Each year, the tobacco industry spends billions of dollars around the globe on advertising, sponsorships, and other forms of promotion.
The industry constantly loses customers because many current smokers quit smoking or die from tobacco-related diseases, and tobacco companies must attract a new generation of tobacco users to survive. As a result, tobacco companies develop massive marketing campaigns to entice populations in Africa to become long-term smokers.
By 2030 the number of smokers in Africa is anticipated to rise by nearly 40% from 2010 levels. This is the largest expected increase in the world. Internal industry documents, such BAT’s 1992-1996 five-year plan which talked about seeking to “aggressively and consistently” exploit these “profitable opportunities”, revealed that tobacco companies have strategically planned their expansion across Africa for more than two decades.
To expand their consumer base, they target new prospective smokers in their marketing, particularly women and younger groups. Often the methods of marketing and selling their products, such as selling single stick cigarettes and sponsoring youth-oriented events, involve violating international frameworks and even the industry’s own mandatory marketing principles.
Industry documents reveal that tobacco companies have carefully studied the habits, tastes and desires of their potential customers and use that research to develop products and marketing campaigns aimed at them.
Studies show that tobacco marketing successfully recruits new tobacco users, maintains or increases use among current users, reduces a tobacco user’s willingness to quit, and encourages former users to start using tobacco again