September 21st, 2012
Encouraging new, 'fun' ways to smoke
By Dr. RICHARD FELDMAN
South Bend Tribune
"Hook ‘em early, hook ‘em for life.”
This is a quote from an internal tobacco industry document regarding their marketing strategy: Find new young tobacco users to replace smokers who continually die prematurely of tobacco-related diseases. What a great business to be in: the profitable business of addiction.
Smoke-free laws sweep the nation with 29 states and hundreds of municipalities enacting smoking bans. It’s rapidly becoming socially unacceptable to smoke in public enclosed places including worksites, restaurants, and bars. What is a smoker to do in these hostile times?
The tobacco industry has the answer for maintaining the next generation of tobacco-addicted people to preserve big profits for the corporations and their stockholders. What is this industry to do in these changing times?
Its response is new innovative tobacco products. No longer can the tobacco industry rely on cigarette sales with youth smoking rates dropping, the national adult smoking rate sinking to an all-time low of under 20 percent, and overall cigarette consumption plummeting.