Debate and Issues Index

draft settlement

Tobacco Settlement: It Is Not What the Tobacco Industry Says It Is


(Page numbers refer to the NAAG version printed off their web site.)

The Tobacco Industry says the Settlement means a Ban on Marketing to Youth.: (Section III.(a), page 9)

This section says the tobacco companies will not "take any action the primary purpose of which is to initiate, maintain, or increase the incidence of youth smoking". The Tobacco Industry has long maintained that they do not and have not targeted youth in their marketing. Because the word "primary" is included in this provision, this appears to mean that the industry can undertake activities whose primary purpose is to, say, get smokers to switch brands, but whose secondary purpose of targeting children. Therefore, this provision does not appear to represent any change in their marketing strategies and allows the tobacco industry to continue to market to children as long as that is not their primary purpose. There is also an inherent heavy burden of proof on public health officials to prove the Industry is "targeting youth".

Is Joe Camel Really Gone? The Tobacco Industry says the Settlement means a Ban on Cartoons: (III.(b), page 9)

This section, labeled "Ban on Use of Cartoons" is far from a ban, for it includes a significant loophole for using cartoons. This "ban" includes an exemption for cartoons used in any State and by any participating manufacturer's logo or their packaging as of July 1, 1998 (see definition of "Cartoon" on page 3, II.(l)). So, current cartoons may continue to be used!

Is Joe Camel really gone? No. According to this definition, Joe Camel can be used when pictured on the corporate logo or tobacco packaging. Therefore, the tobacco industry can use in their advertisements a blown up picture of a pack of cigarettes featuring Joe Camel.

The Tobacco Industry says the Settlement means a Limitation of Tobacco Brand Name Sponsorships: (III.(c), page 9-11)

This is not a significant limitation. This section allows Participating Manufacturers to engage in one Brand Name Sponsorship "in the States per year" (? Does this equal one per state per year?). Currently, I am unaware of major events commonly sponsored by the Tobacco Industry in Maine each year, so allowing them to sponsor one event per year is not a significant limitation.

In the definition section (II.(j), page 3) "Brand Name Sponsorship" is defined to include as one sponsorship event any multi-state series or tour, such as any number of NASCAR races. Thus, limiting tobacco manufacturers to one sponsorship in the States per year still allows them to sponsor as their yearly event a multi-state, multi-event, multi-day/week/month event.

This section also includes a prohibition against sponsoring "events in which the intended audience is comprised of a significant percentage of Youth". What is a "significant percentage"? How is it determined that the intended audience is youth? For instance, car races such as the NASCAR races are often followed by youth (as exemplified by the high recognition of Ricky Craven by Maine youth).

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