R.J. Reynolds Launches New Flavored Cigarettes, Circumventing Settlement With State Attorneys General

May 22, 2007, 01:00 ET from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

    WASHINGTON, May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is
 statement from Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:
     In October 2006, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company entered into a
 settlement with state attorneys general to stop marketing candy, fruit and
 alcohol-flavored cigarettes. The states had asserted that RJR's marketing
 of flavored cigarettes violated the 1998 state tobacco settlement's
 prohibition on targeting youth.
     Now, barely seven months later, RJR is already trying to circumvent the
 settlement by introducing new flavored cigarettes in yet another marketing
 scheme that is likely to appeal to children. RJR has taken out a lavish ad
 in Cosmopolitan, a magazine with a high youth readership, to introduce its
 Camel Signature Blends cigarettes that come in Robust, Mellow, Frost and
 Infused flavors. RJR's web site describes Robust as "similar to notes found
 on cocoa and espresso"; Mellow as "accented with toasted honey"; Frost as
 "Fine Asian Mint ... while the creamy finish delivers a smooth, buttery
 aftertaste"; and Infused as offering "notes of Citrus" and "a sweet
 apple-like flavor." These products are also being advertised and sold in
 stores. While RJR claims its web site is age-restricted, kids will be fully
 exposed to the magazine and store ads that highlight the tempting new
 cigarette names and claims of "distinctive flavor." (Images from the
 Cosmopolitan ad and store advertising can be found at
 http://tobaccofreekids.org/reports/camel/.)
     RJR's new flavored cigarettes are the latest in a long line of tobacco
 industry efforts to circumvent specific restrictions on their behavior and
 continue to engage in marketing that appeals to children. While marketing
 restrictions such as those in the 1998 tobacco settlement have had some
 positive impact, the tobacco companies are constantly finding new ways to
 market their deadly and addictive products that appeal to children. That is
 why it is critical that Congress pass pending legislation to grant the U.S.
 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comprehensive authority over the
 manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products. This legislation
 would ban flavored cigarettes once and for all and impose other specific
 steps to restrict marketing to children, such as limiting tobacco ads in
 stores and magazines with high youth readership to black-and-white text
 only. Importantly, this legislation would grant the FDA the comprehensive
 and flexible authority it needs to take action against new forms of tobacco
 marketing that appeal to kids or mislead the public.
     While RJR will claim that its new flavored cigarettes are aimed at
 adult smokers, just as it did when it introduced its earlier candy and
 fruit- flavored cigarettes, studies have indicated that flavored cigarettes
 have their greatest appeal to young, new smokers. A national survey
 released in 2005 by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute found that 20 percent
 of smokers aged 17 to 19 said they had used flavored cigarettes in the past
 30 days, while just six percent of smokers over the age of 25 did. A
 November 2005 study by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded,
 "Flavored cigarettes can promote youth initiation and help young occasional
 smokers to become daily smokers by masking the natural harshness and taste
 of tobacco smoke and increasing the acceptability of a toxic product."
     RJR's continued marketing of flavored cigarettes is further evidence
 that the tobacco companies have not changed and will not change until
 forced to do so. Since the 1998 settlement, overall tobacco marketing has
 nearly doubled to a massive $13.4 billion in 2005 -- more than $36 million
 a day -- according to the Federal Trade Commission's most recent reports on
 tobacco marketing.
     RJR, the company that once marketed cigarettes to kids with the Joe
 Camel cartoon character, has been especially egregious in continuing to
 market in ways that appeal to children. RJR is currently marketing its new
 Camel No. 9 cigarette, which the company claims is targeted at women, but
 also clearly appeals to girls with its flowery pink and teal imagery and
 slick ads in magazines popular with teenage girls, such as Vogue, Glamour
 and Cosmopolitan. The Oregonian newspaper called the new cigarette "Barbie
 Camel."
     Before it was forced to stop by the state attorneys general, RJR
 marketed candy and fruit-flavored Camel cigarettes with names like Kauai
 Kolada, Twista Lime and Warm Winter Toffee and alcohol-flavored cigarettes
 with names like Blackjack Gin, ScrewDriver Slots and Snake Eyes Scotch. In
 2005, RJR stopped a cigarette promotion called "Drinks on us" after
 attorneys general charged that aspects of it, such as coasters imprinted
 with drink recipes and slogans encouraging excessive drinking, would
 encourage smoking and binge drinking by young people. In its racketeering
 lawsuit against the tobacco companies, the U.S. Department of Justice in
 2005 described RJR as a "serial violator" of the 1998 tobacco settlement.
     Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United
 States. It kills more than 400,000 Americans and costs the nation more than
 $96 billion in health care bills every year. Every day, another 1,200
 Americans die from tobacco use and more than 1,000 kids become regular
 smokers. This deadly toll will continue to mount so long as tobacco
 companies like R.J. Reynolds remain unregulated and free to engage in
 marketing that appeals to kids. Congress has debated the issue of FDA
 authority over tobacco products for nearly a decade. It is time to finish
 the debate and take action to protect children and save lives.
 
 

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
    WASHINGTON, May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is
 statement from Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:
     In October 2006, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company entered into a
 settlement with state attorneys general to stop marketing candy, fruit and
 alcohol-flavored cigarettes. The states had asserted that RJR's marketing
 of flavored cigarettes violated the 1998 state tobacco settlement's
 prohibition on targeting youth.
     Now, barely seven months later, RJR is already trying to circumvent the
 settlement by introducing new flavored cigarettes in yet another marketing
 scheme that is likely to appeal to children. RJR has taken out a lavish ad
 in Cosmopolitan, a magazine with a high youth readership, to introduce its
 Camel Signature Blends cigarettes that come in Robust, Mellow, Frost and
 Infused flavors. RJR's web site describes Robust as "similar to notes found
 on cocoa and espresso"; Mellow as "accented with toasted honey"; Frost as
 "Fine Asian Mint ... while the creamy finish delivers a smooth, buttery
 aftertaste"; and Infused as offering "notes of Citrus" and "a sweet
 apple-like flavor." These products are also being advertised and sold in
 stores. While RJR claims its web site is age-restricted, kids will be fully
 exposed to the magazine and store ads that highlight the tempting new
 cigarette names and claims of "distinctive flavor." (Images from the
 Cosmopolitan ad and store advertising can be found at
 http://tobaccofreekids.org/reports/camel/.)
     RJR's new flavored cigarettes are the latest in a long line of tobacco
 industry efforts to circumvent specific restrictions on their behavior and
 continue to engage in marketing that appeals to children. While marketing
 restrictions such as those in the 1998 tobacco settlement have had some
 positive impact, the tobacco companies are constantly finding new ways to
 market their deadly and addictive products that appeal to children. That is
 why it is critical that Congress pass pending legislation to grant the U.S.
 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comprehensive authority over the
 manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products. This legislation
 would ban flavored cigarettes once and for all and impose other specific
 steps to restrict marketing to children, such as limiting tobacco ads in
 stores and magazines with high youth readership to black-and-white text
 only. Importantly, this legislation would grant the FDA the comprehensive
 and flexible authority it needs to take action against new forms of tobacco
 marketing that appeal to kids or mislead the public.
     While RJR will claim that its new flavored cigarettes are aimed at
 adult smokers, just as it did when it introduced its earlier candy and
 fruit- flavored cigarettes, studies have indicated that flavored cigarettes
 have their greatest appeal to young, new smokers. A national survey
 released in 2005 by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute found that 20 percent
 of smokers aged 17 to 19 said they had used flavored cigarettes in the past
 30 days, while just six percent of smokers over the age of 25 did. A
 November 2005 study by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded,
 "Flavored cigarettes can promote youth initiation and help young occasional
 smokers to become daily smokers by masking the natural harshness and taste
 of tobacco smoke and increasing the acceptability of a toxic product."
     RJR's continued marketing of flavored cigarettes is further evidence
 that the tobacco companies have not changed and will not change until
 forced to do so. Since the 1998 settlement, overall tobacco marketing has
 nearly doubled to a massive $13.4 billion in 2005 -- more than $36 million
 a day -- according to the Federal Trade Commission's most recent reports on
 tobacco marketing.
     RJR, the company that once marketed cigarettes to kids with the Joe
 Camel cartoon character, has been especially egregious in continuing to
 market in ways that appeal to children. RJR is currently marketing its new
 Camel No. 9 cigarette, which the company claims is targeted at women, but
 also clearly appeals to girls with its flowery pink and teal imagery and
 slick ads in magazines popular with teenage girls, such as Vogue, Glamour
 and Cosmopolitan. The Oregonian newspaper called the new cigarette "Barbie
 Camel."
     Before it was forced to stop by the state attorneys general, RJR
 marketed candy and fruit-flavored Camel cigarettes with names like Kauai
 Kolada, Twista Lime and Warm Winter Toffee and alcohol-flavored cigarettes
 with names like Blackjack Gin, ScrewDriver Slots and Snake Eyes Scotch. In
 2005, RJR stopped a cigarette promotion called "Drinks on us" after
 attorneys general charged that aspects of it, such as coasters imprinted
 with drink recipes and slogans encouraging excessive drinking, would
 encourage smoking and binge drinking by young people. In its racketeering
 lawsuit against the tobacco companies, the U.S. Department of Justice in
 2005 described RJR as a "serial violator" of the 1998 tobacco settlement.
     Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United
 States. It kills more than 400,000 Americans and costs the nation more than
 $96 billion in health care bills every year. Every day, another 1,200
 Americans die from tobacco use and more than 1,000 kids become regular
 smokers. This deadly toll will continue to mount so long as tobacco
 companies like R.J. Reynolds remain unregulated and free to engage in
 marketing that appeals to kids. Congress has debated the issue of FDA
 authority over tobacco products for nearly a decade. It is time to finish
 the debate and take action to protect children and save lives.
 
 SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids