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NAQC Newsroom: Tobacco Control

Legacy Works to Counteract Big Tobacco's Marketing toward Women

Tuesday, May 25, 2010  
Throughout history, the tobacco industry has tapped into the social consciousness of women who sought independence and equality. With the help of psychologists, advertisers and marketing experts, the industry devised plans to link cigarettes to the women's liberation movement—a strategy that still has women lighting up across the nation decades later. Public health advocates continue to battle this misaligned association in hopes of giving women who smoke every chance to live longer, healthier, tobacco-free lives. In fact, World No Tobacco Day on May 31 will focus on gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women.

An ever-growing body of research supports the need for continued advocacy around these issues. In March 2010, a study by the University of California at San Diego and Legacy showed that the 2007 R.J. Reynolds' cigarette campaign, Camel No. 9, successfully targeted young teenage girls, making them more likely to start smoking. Moreover, a recently released report from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School states that 70,000 women will lose their lives to lung cancer in 2010 alone.

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