Speaking of the tobacco industry, Cancer Research U.K. has a lengthy, must-read blog entry today on tobacco marketing tactics. Writer Henry Scowcroft highlights three recent studies that he says "paint a depressing picture" - two spotlighting the industry's influence on national and international tobacco policy, and another showing that in U.S. states with weak tobacco control policies, lung cancer rates continues to rise. Towards the end, Scowcroft makes a particularly compelling argument on why limits on tobacco marketing are needed:
In the world of political campaigning and lobbying, none of these issues or actions is illegal, or even unusual. And it could be argued that, as global corporations, tobacco companies have a legal duty to their shareholders to maximise their profit margins.
In this light, tobacco companies are behaving no differently than any other globalised industry.
But tobacco companies market an addictive product that sends an estimated 5 million people to an early grave every year – a number that’s predicted to grow to more than 8 million in 2030. By 2015, tobacco is projected to kill 50 per cent more people than HIV/AIDS, and to be responsible for one death in ten.
No other global industry can claim such a lethal degree of brand loyalty.
Previously: A discussion of the tobacco industry’s exploitation of “smoke-free” Olympic Games, What’s being done about the way tobacco companies market and manufacture products, How have U.S. tobacco regulations affected smokers?, Study shows anti-tobacco programs targeting adults also curb teen smoking, A conversation about the FDA’s new graphic health warnings for cigarettes and Australia enacts world’s first ban on branded cigarette packaging
Photo by Julie Bocchino