Currently, the United States and other countries are faced with a large number of citizens smoking. It is estimated that 1.1 billion people smoke worldwide. This is a very high number. The biggest problem with this number is the percentage of teenagers smoking before the legal age of 18. 89% of people who currently smoke started before they were of legal age.
Cigarette companies such as Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro, Parliament, Basic and Winston’s create a large part of their revenue off of minors. Philip Morris himself Quoted “Today’s teenager is tomorrow’s potential regular customer.” An employee of Lorillard, Inc., producer of Newport cigarettes commented on teenagers in the cigarette market, “The success of Newport has been fantastic during the last few years…The base of our business is the high school student. RJ Reynolds Tobacco, producers of Camel cigarettes also agree with the fact that much of their revenue comes from minors by stating, “The 14-18 year old group is an increasing segment of the smoking population.
RJ Reynolds must soon establish a successful new brand in this market if our position in the industry is to be maintained over the long term.” These major cigarette companies all are aware that minors are buying their cigarettes. As a result, they are making a huge profit from them. Anti-smoking organizations such as Just Eliminate Lies and The Whole Truth on the other hand are fighting with “Big Tobacco” as they call the major cigarette companies to stop them from promoting smoking through advertisements to teenagers.
The situation between Big Tobacco and anti-smoking organizations can be looked at through two different viewpoints. The first, looking at the situation economically, you would see how much cigarette sales help it. Besides sales of cigarettes, health care institutions also benefit from smokers who develop lung cancer or other smoking related diseases. The health industry benefits largely from people that smoke, or from those that are exposed to second hand smoke. It is very rare to find a person that has smoked for decades that does not have health problems as a result. Research has shown that 1 out of every 3 people that become regular smokers will die from a tobacco related illness. That is a lot of money for the health care workers that take care of the smokers.
The other viewpoint, siding with the anti-smoking organizations would make you view smoking as a horrible habit that only kills people, which is also true. Both sides have good points, which brings up an issue of the future of the smoking industry. What will happen as a result of anti-smoking organizations running ad campaigns?
As an effect of these ad campaigns, statistics show that over the next 10 years, cigarette sales will decline by 25%. 430 billion cigarettes were consumed in the United States in 1999. In 2000, Phillip Morris had a total revenue of $49 billion worldwide. The CEO of Phillip Morris makes 5 million dollars a year. If cigarette sales are decreased by 25%, the economy will definitely suffer.
Currently, cigarette sales are booming. As a cashier in a gas station, I have found just about every other person I ring up purchases a package of cigarettes. Most of who are college students. Cigarette sales pay my wages. Due to this so-called research, I believe smoking is currently a problem because of the health risks a person takes from smoking. A solution needs to be created to prevent people from even starting to smoke. On the other hand, I also believe that if these anti-smoking campaigns that are currently running on billboards, in magazines, newspapers, TV or the radio take effect, the economy will hurt from it.
Currently the anti-smoking organizations are fighting with the tobacco companies accusing them of killing thousands of smokers. These organizations are also trying to prevent people from ever beginning to smoke, especially teenagers. Through advertisements they are trying to show what smoking does to a person. I personally have found these advertisements to be effective. The most effective TV commercial I have seen shows thousands of body bags in an alley to illustrate the number of people that die everyday due to smoking related diseases. With such powerful messages being sent out as this commercial, the anti-smoking organizations are affecting the number of those that smoke.
The decisio a person makes whether to smoke or not is very important to the future of our economy. As much as I hate smoke, I would hate to have the economy struggle more than it currently is due to anti-smoking campaigns. I make my own decisions. Other people are going to do the same. Whether it is to smoke and hurt their bodies or to refrain from smoking and listen to the ads of the harmful effects of smoking. Smoke and provide money for our economy or never start and not support the smoking industry. The choice is yours.