Nicotine marketing

Nicotine marketing is the marketing of nicotine-containing products or use. Traditionally, the tobacco industry markets cigarette smoking, but it is increasingly marketing other products, such as electronic cigarettes and heat-not-burn products. Products are marketed through social media, stealth marketing, mass media, and sponsorship (particularly of sporting events). Expenditures on nicotine marketing are in the tens of billions a year; in the US alone, spending was over US$ 1million per hour in 2016;[1] in 2003, per-capita marketing spending was $290 per adult smoker, or $45 per inhabitant. Nicotine marketing is increasingly regulated; some forms of nicotine advertising are banned in many countries. The World Health Organization recommends a complete tobacco advertising ban.[2]


The effectiveness of tobacco marketing in increasing consumption of tobacco products is widely documented.[3] Advertisements cause new people to become addicted, mostly when they are minors.[4][5][6][3] Ads also keep established smokers from quitting. Advertising peaks in January, when the most people are trying to quit, although the most people take up smoking in the summer.[3]:61

The tobacco industry has frequently claimed that ads are only about "brand preference", encouraging existing smokers to switch to and stick to their brand.[7] There is, however, substantial evidence that ads cause people to become, and stay, addicted.[7]

Marketing is also used to oppose regulation of nicotine marketing and other tobacco control measures, both directly and indirectly, for instance by improving the image of the nicotine industry and reducing criticism from youth and community groups. Industry charity and sports sponsorships are publicized (with publicity costing up to ten times the cost of the publicized act), portraying the industry as actively sharing the values of the target audience. Marketing is also used to normalize the industry ("Just Another Fortune 500 Company", "More Than a Tobacco Company").[3]:198–201 Finally, marketing is used to give the impression that nicotine companies are responsible, "Open and Honest". This is done through an emphasis on informed choice and "anti-teen-smoking" campaigns,[3]:198–201 although such ads have been criticized as counterproductive (causing more smoking) by independent groups.[3]:190–196[8]

Magazines, but not newspapers, that get revenue from nicotine advertising are less likely to run stories critical of nicotine products. Internal documents also show that the industry used its influence with the media to shape coverage of news, such as a decision not to mandate health warnings on cigarette packages or a debate over advertising restrictions.[3]:345–350

Counter-marketing is also used, mostly by public health groups and governments. The addictiveness and health effects of nicotine use are generally described, as these are the themes missing from pro-tobacco marketing.[3]:150

Regulation and evasion techniques

Because it harms public health, nicotine marketing is increasingly regulated.

Advertising restrictions typically shift marketing spending to unrestricted media. Banned on television, ads move to print; banned in all conventional media, ads shift to sponsorships; banned as in-store advertising and packaging, advertising shifts to shill (undisclosed) marketing reps, sponsored online content, viral marketing, and other stealth marketing techniques.[3]:272–280 Unlike conventional advertising, stealth marketing is not openly attributed to the organization behind it. This neutralizes mistrust of tobacco companies, which is widespread among children and the teenagers who provide the industry with most new addicts.[3]:Ch.6&7

Another method of evading restrictions is to sell less-regulated nicotine products instead of the ones for which advertising is more regulated. For instance, while TV ads of cigarettes are banned in the United States, similar TV ads of e-cigarettes are not.[9]

The most effective media are usually banned first, meaning advertisers need to spend more money to addict the same number of people.[3]:272 Comprehensive bans can make it impossible to effectively substitute other forms of advertising, leading to actual falls in consumption.[3]:272–280 However, skillful use of allowed media can increase advertising exposure; the exposure of U.S. children to nicotine advertising is increasing as of 2018.[9]


Goody two shoes cigarette ad
One of the Find Your Voice ads used by Virginia Slims in 1999 that drew attention due to its rebellious advertising aimed at women. Its tagline reads "NEVER let the goody two shoes get you down".[10]

Nicotine advertising uses specific techniques, but often uses multiple methods simultaneously. For instance, the ad illustrated in this section uses many of the techniques discussed below. Its tagline reads "NEVER let the goody two shoes get you down",[10] making use of reactance; it has also been described as urging smokers to disregard health warnings.[11] The model's gesture echoes earlier ads which made more explicit claims of voice box benefits.[12][13] The 1999-2000 "Find your voice" ad campaign, of which this ad was a part, was criticized as offensive to smokers who have lost their voices to throat cancer,[11][14] and as targeting minority women and seeking to associate itself with empowerment, independence, self-expression, women's rights, and sexual allure.[15][16][11][17]


Nicotine marketing makes extensive use of reactance, the feeling that one is being unreasonably controlled. Reactance often motivates rebellion, in behaviour or belief, which demonstrates that the control was ineffective, restoring the feeling of freedom.[18]

Ads thus rarely explicitly tell the viewer to use nicotine; this has been shown to be counter-productive. Instead, they frequently suggest using nicotine as a way to rebel and be free.[18] This marketing message is at odds with the feelings of smokers, who commonly feel trapped by their addiction and unable to quit.[19] Mention of addiction is avoided in nicotine advertising.[20]:150

Reactance can be eliminated by successfully concealing attempts to manipulate or control behaviour. Unlike conventional advertising, stealth marketing is not openly attributed to the organization behind it. This neutralizes mistrust of tobacco companies, which is widespread among children and the teenagers who provide the industry with most new addicts.[3]:Ch.6&7 The internet and social media are particularly suited to stealth and viral marketing, which is also cheap;[21] nicotine companies now spend tens of millions per year on online marketing.[22]

Counter-advertising also shows awareness of reactance; it rarely tells the viewer what to do. More commonly, it cites statistics about addictiveness and other health effects. Some anti-smoking ads dramatise the statistics (e.g. by piling 1200 body bags in front of the New York headquarters of Philip Morris, now Altria, to illustrated the number of people dying daily from smoking);[23] others document individual experiences.[24] Providing information does not generally provoke reactance.

Social conformity

Despite products being marketed as individualistic and non-conformist, people generally actually start using due to peer pressure. Being offered a cigarette is one of the largest risk factors for smoking.[3]:256–257 Boys with a high degree of social conformity are also more likely to start smoking.[3]:216

Social pressure is deliberately used in marketing, often using stealth marketing techniques to avoid triggering reactance. "Roachers", selected for good looks, style, charm,[3]:110 and being slightly older than the targets,[25] are hired to offer samples of the product.[3]:110 "Hipsters" are also recruited clandestinely from the bar and nightclub scene to sell cigarettes, and ads are placed in alternative media publications with "hip credibility".[3]:108–110 Other strategies include sponsoring bands and seeking to give an impression of usage by scattering empty cigarette packages.[26]

Ads also use the threat of social isolation, implied or explicit (e.g. "Nobody likes a quitter").[27] Great care is taken to maintain the impression that a brand is popular and growing in popularity, and that people who smoke the brand are popular[3]:217

Marketing seeks to create a desirable identity as a user, or a user of a specific brand. It seeks to associate nicotine use with rising social identities (see, for instance, the illustrating ad, and history of nicotine marketing in the woman's and civil rights movements, and its use of western affluence in the developing world, below). It seeks to associate nicotine use with positive traits, such as intelligence, fun, sexiness, sociability, high social status, wealth, health, athleticism, and pleasant outdoor pursuits. Many of these associations are fairly implausible; smoking is not generally considered an intelligent choice, even by smokers; most smokers feel miserable about smoking,[19] smoking causes impotence,[28][29][30] many smokers feel socially stigmatized for smoking,[19] and smoking is expensive and unhealthy.

Marketing also uses associations with loyalty, which not only defend a brand, but put a positive spin on not quitting. A successful campaign playing on loyalty and identity was the "rather fight than switch" campaign, in which the makeup the models wore made it seem as if they had black eyes, by implication from a fight with smokers of other cigarettes (campaign by a subsidiary of American Tobacco Company, now owned by British American Tobacco).[31]

Mood changes

Nicotine is also advertised as good for "nerves", irritability, and stress. Again, ads have moved from explicit claims ("Never gets on your nerves") to implicit claims ("Slow down. Pleasure up"). Although nicotine products temporarily relieve nicotine withdrawal symptoms, an addiction causes worse stress and mood, due to mild withdrawal symptoms between hits. Nicotine addicts need the nicotine to temporarily feel normal.[32][33] Nicotine addiction seems to worsen mental health problems,[32] but industry marketing has claimed that nicotine is both less harmful and therapeutic for people with mental illness, and is a form of "self-medication". Marketing has also claimed that quitting will worsen rather than improve mental health symptoms. These claims have been criticised by independent researchers as inaccurate.[34]

It is thought that nicotine withdrawal is worse for those who are already stressed or depressed, making quitting more difficult.[32][33] About 40% of the cigarettes sold in the U.S. are smoked by people with mental health issues. Smoking rates in the U.S. military were also high, and over a third started smoking after entering the military; deployment was also a risk factor.[35] Disabled people are more likely to smoke; smoking causes disability, but the stress of disability might also cause smoking.[36]

According to the CDC Tobacco Product Use Among Adults 2015 report, people who are American Indian/Alaska Native, non-Hispanic, less-educated (0–12 years education; no diploma, or General Educational Development), lower-income (annual household income <$35,000), Lesbian, gay, or bisexual, the uninsured, and those under serious psychological distress have the highest reported percentage of any tobacco product use.[37]

Poorer people also smoke more. When marketing cigarettes to the developing world, tobacco companies associate their product with an affluent Western lifestyle.[39] However, in the developed world, smoking has almost vanished among the affluent. Smoking rates among the American poor are much higher than among the rich, with rates of over 40% for those with a high school equivalency diploma.[40] These differences have been attributed to both lack of healthcare and to selective marketing to socio-economic, racial, and sexual minorities.[40][41] The tobacco industry targeted young rural men by creating advertisements with images of cowboys, hunters, and race car drivers. Teens in rural areas are less likely to be exposed to anti-tobacco messages in the media. Low-income and predominantly minority neighborhoods often have more tobacco retailers and more tobacco advertising than other neighborhoods.[42]

The tobacco industry focusses marketing towards vulnerable groups, contributing to the large disparity in smoking and health problems.[43] The tobacco industry has marketed heavily to African Americans,[38] sexual minorities,[44] and even the homeless and the mentally ill.[45] In 1995, Project SCUM, which targeted sexual and racial minorities and homeless people in San Francisco, was planned by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (a British American Tobacco subsidiary).[46][47]

Tobacco companies have often been progressive in their hiring policies, employing women and blacks when this was controversial. They also donate some of their profits to a variety of organisations that help people in need.[48][38]

Non-addictiveness and healthiness

Reference to the addictiveness of nicotine is avoided in marketing.[20]:150 Indeed, the addictiveness of nicotine was explicitly denied into the nineties;[49] in 1994, seven tobacco executives stated that nicotine was not addictive while on oath before the US Congress.[50][49] Industry feared that, if continuing to smoke was not seen as a "free choice", they would be exposed to legal and social liabilities.[49]

The nicotine industry frequently markets its products as healthy, safe, and harmless; it has even marketed them as beneficial to health. These marketing messages were initially explicit, but over the decades, they became more implicit and indirect. Explicitly claiming something that the consumer knows to be untrue tend to make them distrust and reject the message, so the effectiveness of explicit claims dropped as evidence of the harms of cigarettes became more widely known. Explicit claims also have the disadvantage that they remind smokers of the health harms of the product.[20]:63

Implicit claims include slogans with connotations of health and vitality, such as "Alive with pleasure", and imagery (of instance, images of athletic, healthy people, the presence of healthy children, healthy natural environments, and medical settings).[20]:62–65[3]:

"Modified risk" products

"Modified risk" nicotine products, alternate nicotine products that are implied to be less harmful, are an old strategy.[51][52] These products are used to discourage quitting, by offering unwilling smokers an alternative to quitting, and implying that using the alternate product will reduce the hazards of smoking.[20]:62–65[3] "Modified risk" products also attract new smokers.[51]

Many "modified risk" nicotine products are actually just as risky as the products they were marketed against.[20]:25–27[53][54] As the long-term harms of cigarette smoking emerge after ~20 years of use, claims of reduced long-term harms for a new product cannot immediately be refuted.[55] Products may become popular on the basis of false health claims before the research is done that proves them false.[55]

Explicit claims of health benefits carry legal risks. They may also require regulatory pre-approval.[52] Reduced levels of specific harmful chemicals are often advertised; people tend to wrongly interpret these as claims of reduced harm.[52] To imply that some nicotine products are healthier than others without making explicit claims, marketing has used descriptions like "light", "mild", "natural", "gentle", "calm", "soft", and "smooth".[20]:62–65[3]:

Both adults and youth have been shown to misinterpret marketing claims about changes in risk. They falsely interpret them as meaning that the product is safe. They are more likely to start using it, and less likely to quit, as a result.[56]

In the 1920s to 1950s, ads often focused on throat irritation and coughs, claiming that specific brands were better. This also distracted from the more serious harms of smoking,[57] which were being revealed by research at the time.[58] Claims were made that toasting tobacco removed irritants (which were said to have been sold on to chemical companies).[57]

Menthol cigarettes have also been marketed as healthier from the 1930s onwards. They were even inaccurately advertised as medicinal, a treatment for smokers that would sooth a throat irritated by smoking, or as a treatment for a cold. Where this is illegal, they are marketed as healthier by implication, using words like "mild", "natural", "gentle", "calm", "soft", "smooth", and imagery of healthy natural environments.[20]:62–65 There is no evidence that menthol cigarettes are healthier, but there is evidence that they are somewhat easier to become addicted to and harder to quit.[20]:25–27

In the fifties, filters were added to cigarettes, and heavily marketed, until they faced regulatory action as false advertising.[57] Initially, efforts were made to develop filters that actually reduced harms; as it became obvious that this was not economically possible, filters were instead designed to turn brown with use.[59][53]

Ventilated cigarettes (marketed as "light", "low-tar", "low-nicotine" etc.) do feel cooler, airier, and less harsh, and a smoking machine will give lower tar and nicotine readings for them. But they do not actually reduce human intake or health risks, as a human responds to the lower resistance to breathing through them by taking bigger puffs.[60] They were also designed to be equally addictive, as manufacturers did not want to lose customers.[54] They were introduced in the 1970s, responding to regulation requiring that nicotine and tar yields be included in cigarette ads. Light cigarettes became so popular that, as of 2004, half of American smokers preferred them over regular cigarettes,[61] According to the US federal government's National Cancer Institute (NCI), light cigarettes provide no benefit to smokers' health.[62][63] However, people using "light" cigarettes are less likely to quit.[64]

Heat-not-burn tobacco products are marketed as less harmful than regular cigarettes since 1988.[65] There is no reliable evidence that these products are any less harmful than regular cigarettes.[66] These products are marketed as a "smoke-free" alternative to regular cigarettes.[67] These products do generate smoke.[68]

Unsupported claims on safety and quitting smoking are made.[69]:p.9 Common marketing messages on brand websites claim that e-cigarettes are safe and healthy, is an area of concern.[70] It is commonly claimed that e-cigarettes emit merely "harmless water vapor", which is not the case.[71] E-cigarette e-liquids marketed as "nicotine-free" have been found to contain nicotine.[72]


Unwilling smokers: customer retention

Smokers mostly want to quit and can't.[19][73] On average, smokers start as adolescents and make over 30 quit attempts, at a rate of about 1 per year, before breaking a nicotine addiction in their 40s or 50s.[74] Most say they feel addicted, and feel misery and disgust at their inability to quit (in surveys, 71-91% regret having started, over 80% intend to quit, around 15% plan to quit within the next month).[19] The industry calls this group "concerned smokers" and seeks to retain them as customers.[7] Techniques for lowering their quit rate include dissuading them from wanting to quit and offering them meaningless product choices which help them feel in control of their habit. For instance, downplaying the risks, and encouraging them to take pride in smoking as an identity, reduces desire to quit.

Suggesting that addicts can reduce their risk by choosing to switch to another product (branded to suggest that it is less harmful or addictive) can reduce their cognitive dissonance[20]:63 and sense of lack of control, without offering a health improvement.[75][76][60][20]:62–65 Switching to a product branded to suggest that it is less harmful or addictive ("mild", "light", "low-tar", "filtered" etc.) is, in terms of health effects, meaningless.[77][75][76][60]

Youth: new customers

Child wearing Marlboro shirt at Boston City Hall in 1980s (9504744104) 2
A girl wearing a Marlboro shirt in the 1980s. Owning and being willing to use promotional items is a significant risk factor for nicotine addiction.[3]:258, 240–268[78]

Smokers typically start young, often as teenagers. As a result, much cigarette advertising is intended to target youth, and depicts young people smoking and using tobacco as a form of leisure and enjoyment.[2]

Before 2009, many tobacco companies made flavored tobacco packaged often in colorful candy like wrappers to attract new users, many of which were a younger audience. However these flavored cigarettes were banned on September 22, 2009 by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Despite this initiative, flavored cigarettes are still on the rise because tobacco companies change their products slightly so they are filtered or slim cigarettes, which are not banned by the act.[79] Chemical additives and physical design have also been used to make "starter products" aimed at youth feel smoother and less irritating, part of efforts to make cigarettes addict more quickly, strongly, and reliably.[80]

No candy for babies
Cigarettes in a Pokémon-cartoon-branded claw crane arcade game in 2008 in Jaffa, Israel.

The intended audience of tobacco advertising has changed throughout the years, with some brands specifically targeted towards a particular demographic. According to Reynolds American Inc, the Joe Camel campaign in the United States was created to advertise Camel brand to young adult smokers. Class action plaintiffs and politicians described the Joe Camel images as a "cartoon" intended to advertise the product to people below the legal smoking age. Under pressure from various anti-smoking groups, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Congress, Camel ended the campaign on 10 July 1997.

Vending machines, individually sold single cigarettes, and product displays near schools, next to candy and sweet drinks, and at the eye-level of young children are all used around the world to sell nicotine-containing products. Even large brands are frequently advertised in ways that break local regulations.[81][82] In many countries, such marketing methods are not illegal. Where they are illegal, enforcement is often a problem. For instance, Dr. Suresh Kumar Arora, New Delhi's chief tobacco control officer, said: "We were wasting our time fining cigarette vendors and distributors. They had no idea of the law. Most are illiterate. Our teams would tear down posters and in no time, they would be up again because the real culprits were the big tobacco companies – ITC, Philip Morris (now Altria), Godfrey Phillip. I told them to stop giving posters to their dealers otherwise I would drag them through the courts. Since last May, Delhi has been free of tobacco posters, 100% free". He has, however, been unable to keep mobile vendors from illegally selling cigarettes next to schools.[81]

Easily circumvented age verification at company websites enables minors to access and be exposed to marketing for e-cigarettes.[83] E-cigarettes are marketed to youth[84] using cartoon characters and candy flavors.[85] E-cigarettes are also marketed on Facebook, where age restrictions are in many cases not implemented.[86]

"Harm reduction" advertising

Some tobacco companies have sponsored ads that claim to discourage teen smoking. Such ads are unregulated. However, these ads have been shown, in independent studies, to increase the self-reported likelihood that teens will start smoking. They also cause adults to see tobacco companies as more responsible and less in need of regulation. Unlike promotional ads, tobacco companies do not track the effects of these ads themselves. These ads differ from independently produced antismoking ads in that they do not mention the health effects of smoking, and present smoking as exclusively an "adult choice", undesirable "if you're a teen".[3]:190–196 There is more exposure to industry-sponsored "antismoking" ads than to antismoking ads run by public health agencies.[3]:189

Tobacco companies have also funded "anti-smoking" groups. One such organization, funded by Lorillard, enters into exclusive sponsorship agreements with sports organisations. This means that no other anti-smoking campaigns are allowed to be involved with the sporting organisation. Such sponsorships have been criticised by health groups.[8]

Recapturing former smokers

Companies have also sought to recapture people who have successfully broken a nicotine dependency. Ex-smokers tend to view these attempts very negatively, and their existence has frequently been denied. Methods discussed in industry documents include price drops, increasing acceptance of smoking by nonsmokers, making products more socially acceptable, and making "healthier" cigarettes (scare quotes in original).[64]


As tobacco companies keep spending money on marketing until it stops being profitable, marginal changes in marketing typically have no measurable effect, but the total amount of marketing has a strong effect.[3]:276

Econometric studies have been done into the endogeneity[87] and other aspects of bans.[88][89]


Tobacco companies have had particularly large budgets for their advertising campaigns. The Federal Trade Commission claimed that cigarette manufacturers spent $8.24 billion on advertising and promotion in 1999, the highest amount ever at that time. The FTC later claimed that in 2005, cigarette companies spent $13.11 billion on advertising and promotion, down from $15.12 billion in 2003, but nearly double what was spent in 1998. The increase, despite restrictions on the advertising in most countries, was an attempt at appealing to a younger audience, including multi-purchase offers and giveaways such as hats and lighters, along with the more traditional store and magazine advertising.[90]

Marketing consultants ACNielsen announced that, during the period September 2001 to August 2002, tobacco companies advertising in the UK spent £25 million, excluding sponsorship and indirect advertising, broken down as follows:

  • £11 million on press advertising
  • £13.2 million on billboards
  • £714,550 on radio advertising
  • £106,253 on direct mail advertising

Figures from around that time also estimated that the companies spent £8m a year sponsoring sporting events and teams (excluding Formula One) and a further £70m on Formula One in the UK.[91]

The £25 million spent in the UK amounted to approximately US$0.60 per person in 2002. The 15.12 billion spent in the United States in 2003 amounted to more than $45 for every person in the United States, more than $36 million per day, and more than $290 for each U.S. adult smoker.

Television and radio e-cigarette advertising in some countries may be indirectly advertising traditional cigarette smoking.[71] A 2014 review said, "the e-cigarette companies have been rapidly expanding using aggressive marketing messages similar to those used to promote cigarettes in the 1950s and 1960s."[71] In the US, six large e-cigarette businesses spent $59.3 million on promoting e-cigarettes in 2013.[92] E-cigarettes are increasingly sold by the traditional tobacco multinationals.[93]


Small child smokes for charity

In a 1922 ad, a small child, smoking a cigarette, tells his amused parents not to worry, as he is smoking for a veteran's charity. Children were often used in early cigarette ads, where they helped normalize smoking as part of family living, and gave associations of purity, vibrancy, and life.[94]

Less irritating clears not cures

"We claim no curative powers for Phillip Morris" say this 1943 ad, in the small text.

WWII send your children cigarettes

This WWII ad shows a mother sending her soldier son a carton of cigarettes, and urges others to do the same. In an echo of the claim that doctors prefer the brand, it claims that men in the military prefer it, too. A mention of War Stamps associates the brand still more closely to war patriotism.

Co-ed leaves Campus to fill a Man's job

Women in the War cigarette ad showing a woman signalling civilian aircraft. The ad associates taking a "man's job" and smoking cigarettes like a man: "Co-ed leaves Campus to fill a Man's job. She's "in the service" -- even to her choice of cigarettes..."

Cigarette ad cyclist 1900

1900 cigarette ad; targeting women is not a new strategy

Cigar ad claiming that a fictional doctor called this brand "harmless" and "never gets on your nerves" (a term then used for nicotine withdrawal symptoms)

Cigar ad yes Im a doctor

Ad showing a fictional doctor endorsing a cigar brand. At the time, it was considered a breach of medical ethics to advertise; doctors who did so would risk losing their license.[95]


Belomorkanal – Russian cigarettes

Hans Rudi Erdt -Problem Cigarettes, 1912

Hans Rudi Erdt: Problem Cigarettes, 1912

FLI 117

French Painted Mural Advertisement

Fachgeschäft für Tabakwaren

Tobacco display in a store Munich in 2008. In many countries, cigarettes may not be displayed, but must be kept behind the counter.


Advertisement for "Murad" Turkish cigarettes 1918


Advertisement for "Egyptian Deities" cigarettes 1919


Veterans Stadium Philadelphia 1986

Duke Cigarettes

Early 20th Century Cigarettes in Durham, NC

See also


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Further reading

External links

Examples of Tobacco Advertising
Laws and legislation
Anti-smoking organizations
Anti-tobacco movement in Nazi Germany

In the early 20th century, German researchers made advances in linking smoking to health harms, which strengthened the anti-tobacco movement in the Weimar Republic and led to a state-supported anti-smoking campaign. Early anti-tobacco movements grew in many nations from the middle of the 19th century. The 1933–1945 anti-tobacco campaigns in Nazi Germany have been widely publicized, although stronger laws than those passed in Germany were passed in some American states, the UK, and elsewhere between 1890 and 1930. After 1941, anti-tobacco campaigns were restricted by the Nazi government.The German movement was the most powerful anti-smoking movement in the world during the 1930s and early 1940s. However, tobacco control policy was incoherent and ineffective, with uncoordinated and often regional efforts by many actors. Obvious measures were not taken, and existing measures were not enforced. Some Nazi leaders condemned smoking and several of them openly criticized tobacco consumption, but others publicly smoked and denied that it was harmful. There was much research on smoking and its effects on health during Nazi rule, and it was the most important of its type at that time; but a directly-supported tobacco research institute produced work of only marginal scientific importance. Adolf Hitler's personal distaste for tobacco and the Nazi reproductive policies were among the motivating factors behind the Nazi campaigns against smoking.The Nazi anti-tobacco campaign included banning smoking in trams, buses, and city trains, promoting health education, limiting cigarette rations in the Wehrmacht, organizing medical lectures for soldiers, and raising the tobacco tax. The Nazis also imposed restrictions on tobacco advertising and smoking in public spaces, and regulated restaurants and coffeehouses. These measures were widely circumvented or ignored.The movement did not reduce the number of smokers. Tobacco use increased rapidly in the early years of the Nazi regime, between 1933 and 1939. The number of smokers increased from 1939 to 1945, but cigarette consumption declined; rationing towards the end of the war and post-war poverty meant that the increasing numbers of smokers could not buy as many cigarettes. Even by the end of the 20th century, the anti-smoking movement in Germany had not attained the influence of the Nazi anti-smoking campaign. Germany has some of the weakest tobacco control measures in Europe, and German tobacco research has been described as "muted".

Cigarette filter

A cigarette filter, also known as a filter tip, is a component of a cigarette, along with cigarette paper, capsules and adhesives. It does not make cigarettes less unhealthy.The filter may be made from cellulose acetate fibre, paper or activated charcoal (either as a cavity filter or embedded into the cellulose acetate). Macroporous phenol-formaldehyde resins and asbestos have also been used in cigarette filters. The acetate and paper modify the particulate smoke phase by particle retention (filtration), and finely divided carbon modifies the gaseous phase (adsorption). In laboratory testing, filters have been shown to reduce "tar" and nicotine smoke yields up to 50%, with a greater removal rate for other classes of compounds (e.g., phenols), but are ineffective in filtering toxins such as carbon monoxide. However, most of these measured reductions occur only when the cigarette is smoked on a smoking machine; when a human smokes them, deliveries remain similar with or without a filter.Most factory-made cigarettes are equipped with a filter; those who roll their own can buy them from a tobacconist. The near-universal adoption of filters on cigarettes has not reduced harms to smokers and lung cancer rates have not declined.Filling a given length of cigarette with filter is cheaper than filling it with tobacco.

Cigarette smoking for weight loss

Cigarette smoking for weight loss is a weight control method whereby one consumes tobacco, often in the form of cigarettes, to decrease one's appetite. The practice dates to early knowledge of nicotine as an appetite suppressant.

Tobacco smoking was associated with appetite suppression among Pre-Columbian indigenous Americans and Old World Europeans. For decades, tobacco companies have employed these connections between slimness and smoking in their advertisements, mainly in brands and advertisements targeting women. Culturally, the links between smoking cigarettes and controlling weight run deep. While it is unclear how many people begin or continue smoking because of weight concerns, research reveals that white female adolescents with established weight-related anxieties are particularly prone to initiate smoking.

Although knowledge of nicotine's effects upon the appetite can contribute to people smoking for weight control purposes, studies have not shown that people smoke exclusively to maintain or lose weight.

History of nicotine marketing

The history of nicotine marketing stretches back centuries. Nicotine marketing has continually developed new techniques in response to historical circumstances, societal and technological change, and regulation. Countermarketing has also changed, in both message and commoness, over the decades, often in response to pro-nicotine marketing.


Juul Labs, Inc. ( JOOL, stylized as JUUL Labs) is an electronic cigarette company which spun off from Pax Labs in 2017. It makes the Juul e-cigarette, which packages nicotine salts from leaf tobacco into one-time use cartridges.The Juul became the most popular e-cigarette in the United States at the end of 2017 and has a market share of 72% as of September 2018. Its widespread use by youth has triggered concern from the public health community and multiple investigations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Marketing of electronic cigarettes

The marketing of electronic cigarettes is legal in some jurisdictions, and spending on e-cigarette marketing is increasing rapidly.


Nicotine is a stimulant and potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid that is naturally produced in the nightshade family of plants. It is used for the treatment of tobacco use disorders as a smoking cessation aid and nicotine dependence for the relief of withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine acts as a receptor agonist at most nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), except at two nicotinic receptor subunits (nAChRα9 and nAChRα10) where it acts as a receptor antagonist.Nicotine constitutes approximately 0.6–3.0% of the dry weight of tobacco. Usually consistent concentrations of nicotine varying from 2–7 µg/kg (20–70 millionths of a percent wet weight) are found in the edible family Solanaceae, such as potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. Some research indicates that the contribution of nicotine obtained from food is substantial in comparison to inhalation of second-hand smoke. Others consider nicotine obtained from food to be trivial unless exceedingly high amounts of certain vegetables are eaten. It functions as an antiherbivore chemical; consequently, nicotine was widely used as an insecticide in the past, and neonicotinoids, such as imidacloprid, are widely used.

Nicotine is highly addictive. It is one of the most commonly abused drugs. An average cigarette yields about 2 mg of absorbed nicotine; high amounts can be more harmful. Nicotine addiction involves drug-reinforced behavior, compulsive use, and relapse following abstinence. Nicotine dependence involves tolerance, sensitization, physical dependence, and psychological dependence. Nicotine dependence causes distress. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include depressed mood, stress, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances. Mild nicotine withdrawal symptoms are measurable in unrestricted smokers, who experience normal moods only as their blood nicotine levels peak, with each cigarette. On quitting, withdrawal symptoms worsen sharply, then gradually improve to a normal state.Nicotine use as a tool for quitting smoking has a good safety history. The general medical position is that nicotine itself poses few health risks, except among certain vulnerable groups such as youth. Nicotine is potentially harmful to non-users. At low amounts, it has a mild analgesic effect. The International Agency for Research on Cancer indicates that nicotine does not cause cancer. Nicotine has been shown to produce birth defects in some animal species, but not others; consequently, it is considered to be a possible teratogen in humans. The median lethal dose of nicotine in humans is unknown, but high doses are known to cause nicotine poisoning.

Regulation of nicotine marketing

As nicotine is highly addictive, marketing nicotine-containing products is regulated in most jurisdictions. Regulations include bans and regulation of certain types of advertising, and requirements for counter-advertising of facts generally not included in ads (generally, information about health effects, including addictiveness). Regulation is circumvented using less-regulated media, such as Facebook, less-regulated nicotine delivery products, such as e-cigarettes, and less-regulated ad types, such as industry ads which claim to discourage nicotine addiction but seem, according to independent studies, to promote teen nicotine use.

Sturm Cigarette Company

The Sturm Cigarette Company (Sturm Zigaretten, in English, Storm Cigarettes or Military Assault/Attack Cigarettes) was a cigarette company created by the Nazi Party's Sturmabteilung (SA). The sale of these cigarettes provided the SA with operating funds.Coercion and violence were used to increase the sales of these cigarettes.

Torches of Freedom

"Torches of Freedom" was a phrase used to encourage women's smoking by exploiting women's aspirations for a better life during the early twentieth century first-wave feminism in the United States. Cigarettes were described as symbols of emancipation and equality with men. The term was first used by psychoanalyst A. A. Brill when describing the natural desire for women to smoke and was used by Edward Bernays to encourage women to smoke in public despite social taboos. Bernays hired women to march while smoking their "torches of freedom" in the Easter Sunday Parade of 1929, which was a significant moment for fighting social barriers for women smokers.

Ventilated cigarette

Ventilated cigarettes (labeled in certain jurisdictions as Light or Mild cigarettes) are considered to have a milder flavor than regular cigarettes. These cigarette brands may be listed as having lower levels of tar ("low-tar"), nicotine, or other chemicals as "inhaled" by a "smoking machine". However, the scientific evidence is that switching from regular to light or low-tar cigarettes does not reduce the health risks of smoking or lower the smoker's exposure to the nicotine, tar, and carcinogens present in cigarette smoke.The filter design, which may include perforated holes, is one of the main differences between light and regular cigarettes. When attached to a smoking machine, the small holes in the sides of the filter dilute the tobacco smoke with clean air. In ultra-light cigarettes, the filter's perforations are even larger, and on the smoking machine, they produce an even smaller smoke-to-air ratio. However, smokers react to the reduced resistance by inhaling more deeply, and tend to cover the holes with their fingers and mouth. None of these ventilation techniques reduce harm to smokers, and some may increase it; they are designed to give better readings in a smoking-machine test while minimally reducing what human smokers inhale.Belief among the general public that "light" cigarettes are less harmful and less addictive is pervasive and problematic to public health efforts. Usage of descriptors such as "light" or "mild" has thus been banned in the European Union, Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, and other countries. Tobacco manufacturers now use color-coding to allow consumers to differentiate between regular and light brands, using lighter colors and silver for "light" cigarettes. Plain tobacco packaging appears to be helpful in reducing marketing influence.

Women and smoking

With gender-targeted marketing, including packaging and slogans (especially "slimmer" and "lighter" cigarettes), and promotion of women smoking in movies and popular TV shows, the tobacco industry was able to increase the percent of women smoking. In the 1980s, tobacco industries were made to have the surgeon general's warning printed on each packaging of the tobacco products. This slowed the rate of women smoking but later slightly increased after the advertisements started to look more present day and more appealing packaging, that appealed to the younger generation. In more recent times, cigarette smoking has been banned from public places and will continue to help decrease smoking rates in the United States. Cigarette smoking has serious health effects.

In the General Health Effects and the Effects for female sections, the article gives specific statistics on the health effects on women and in general.

As far as the future, smoking levels continue to decline in the developed world and increasing in the developing world.

Country and region
Smoking ban
Health issues
Related products
Tobacco industry
and the law


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