Philip Morris has now reprinted the above statement in hundreds of thousands of brochures in which it blames everyone but itself for causing youth to become addicted to nicotine. It knows, or should know, that the above statement leaves youth with the false belief that they can safely smoke nicotine a few times before their brain fights back by making physical changes to de-sensitize and protect against the presence of nicotine, a commanding, demanding and destructive teratogen.
Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds continue to refuse to warn youth that smoking nicotine is extremely addictive. For some unexplained reason they do not seem to want children to know that 90% of their customers do not really smoke for flavor, adventure or to make new friends but because they are already chemically hooked on nicotine under DSM mental health standards.
Nicotine is not "medicine." It is a natural insecticide engineered by nature to protect the tobacco plant from being eaten by insects. Drop for drop it is eight times deadlier than cyanide, five times more lethal than heroin, and three times as lethal as arsenic.
Yes, it may take a few cigarettes, dips, plugs, chews, cigars, patches or lozenges before the above symptoms of addiction begin to appear and you begin to notice that you've lost your freedom and autonomy to simply turn and walk away. But the more important question is, when did your brain begin rewiring itself? Don't be surprised if scientists soon discover that the human mind begins defending and protecting itself by de-sensitizing critical neuronal pathways the very first time that nicotine entered the bloodstream and began arriving inside the brain.
|Creator||R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company|
|Brand #1||Camel - "Winter MochaMint" - "A chilly blast of peppermint & mocha"|
|Brand #1||Camel - "Warm Winter Toffee" - "A swirl of sweet indulgence"|
|Theme||Pleasure to Burn|
|Assertions||"Limited time only!" "Cool & Minty or Warm & Toasty. There's only one season to indulge in both"|
|Warning||All identified ads use: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.|
|Appearances||People Magazine 11/22/04 page 94; The Advocate 11/23/04 page 27; Esquire 12/04 pages 2 & 3; Rolling Stone 11/25/04 pages 2 & 3|
Why care whether or not our #1 killer is now being marketed as candy flavored cigarettes? R.J. Reynolds almost makes them sound wonderfully edible. Yes, "a cool minty" "chilly blast of peppermint and mocha" or a "warm and toasty winter toffee" "swirl of sweet indulgence" and "only one season to indulge in both."
Why should we care if candy flavored nicotine products are now advertised above the neighborhood candy rack? If not us, who? If not now, when? Sadly, thousands of students will learn about MochaMint and Warm Winter Toffee in school.
Shockingly, People Magazine and this ad is today available and being read by students in almost every middle school and high school library across America. Make a quick call to your school's librarian and ask if they carry People Magazine. Ask if the school removes tobacco ads from magazines.
If outraged, consider writing a short letter to the editor of your local newspaper. The shorter the letter the more likely it will be printed. The larger the newspaper's circulation the fewer words normally accepted for printing but 200 is usually safe. Be sure and remind students that it may only take smoking nicotine a single time to keep them coming back for life.
It isn't just People Magazine and R.J. Reynolds' new candy flavored cigarettes praying upon youth while inside the protection of their schools. They cannot open recent issues of Newsweek, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, Time, Road & Track, or Sports Illustrated without being told that life isn't as pleasurable without nicotine, that they need to "stir their senses", and that they're missing out on wonderful tastes by not coming to where the flavor is, by refusing to come to Marlboro Country!
Look at the tobacco ads hanging above or near the candy, donut or potato chip rack in your neighborhood convenience store. Remember when you were young and you actually thought of the corner store as a candy store? Again, why not a short letter to the editor expressing your outrage? You and this ad just might at last light a fire within your community.
Does advertising one of earth's most addictive chemicals near a candy rack in a neighborhood convenience store constitute a public nuisance? How does your community's nuisance law read? In that 90% of all adult smokers are addicted to nicotine under DSM III mental health standards, isn't it dishonest and fraudulent to year after year bombard the minds of children with the message that grown-ups smoke for flavor? Do you know a smoker who bought into such lies and is now forced to stand at the counter and hand over their money because they quickly became addicted? Would they be willing to help prevent others from doing the same? How does your state's unfair and deceptive trade practices act read?
If your school district refuses to immediately remove all cigarette ads from all schools or your neighborhood convenience store refuses to stop marketing and selling candy flavored cigarettes in your neighborhood then get a few photographs and make a call to your small claims court and ask for information about filing two claims if permitted by the law of your area: (1) a public nuisance civil action and (2) an unfair and deceptive trade practices claim.
Your unfair and deceptive trade practice act may allow for attorney fees but you'll likely need to show monetary loss by getting a young hooked smoker to join you. Hopefully you'll be able to locate a young hungry lawyer willing to go to war to protect your community's youth. Your state's bar association likely has a toll free number and will help you find a lawyer interested in consumer or tort law.
If you have an ocean of exterior tobacco marketing signs at gas stations and convenience stores in your community, you can work to get your local zoning ordinance amended to ban all outdoor "product" advertising. The U.S. Supreme Court says that we cannot discriminate against tobacco ads in our zoning laws but that we can regulate them if we're willing to regulate all exterior product signs, even if done solely for aesthetic purposes.
But even if we can't convince our school district to remove tobacco ads, even if we can't convince the store manager that the health and neurochemical freedom of the neighborhood's children are more important than dollars derived from dependency, decay, disease, dying and death, even if we can't afford to file suit and there is no lawyer in your community willing to battle its #1 killer, even if we can't convince our local leaders to change zoning laws, it costs very little to find a piece of cardboard and make our own little sign. Be sure and your police department and city and/or county hall and ask if you need to obtain a permit to picket the sidewalk in front of any store or school which insists upon aiding the tobacco industry in enslaving area youth. If your letter gets published you may meet others willing to join you.
Win, lose or draw we cannot protect our children from holiday marketing that will encourage them to try candy flavored cigarettes unless we're willing to stand now and fight! Together we can!