Most of us are aware of the negative consequences tobacco use has on our health. We know that smoking is highly addictive, can cause cancers, gum disease and other illnesses… But what if I were to say the disease we should focus on tackling first and foremost, is the industry itself? That the companies pushing nicotine are almost, if not as toxic as their products?
The tobacco industry spends an average of 25 million dollars a day on marketing and customer recruitment. The cost is roughly $28 a year per adult/ child in the U.S.
The CDC’s 2019 consumption records show roughly 14 out of every 100 U.S. adults smoke cigarettes and more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking related disease. That’s nearly 1 in 5 deaths here linked to tobacco. This means an estimated 34.1 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes. However, this does not include children, one of their most targeted subjects. The industry’s prime focus is on youth, minorities, the LGBTQIA community, low income areas, and women.
Young people are prime targets of the industry because they are most impressionable as well as their future customer base. Exposing them at a young age paves a more likely path to use. As a teenager, the brain is still developing and is proven to be more vulnerable to nicotine addiction.
My goal here, hopefully, is to educate those on the strategies used by the tobacco industry. These companies feed on the vulnerability and lack of knowledge of their customers. While it may seem as though smoking and cigarette use has decreased among newer generations, the industry continues to come out with trendy and appealing products catered especially to children.