What's being done?
The Boston Public Health Commission works with local schools, universities and community-based organizations to help keep Big Tobacco from targeting Boston youth. Tobacco companies are always coming up with new ways to get youth to buy their products. BPHC has teamed up with the Boston 84’s. The 84 is a youth-led movement fighting for a tobacco-free generation in Massachusetts. In Boston, 84’s have worked with the Boston Public Schools to create tobacco-free school environments.
To learn more about The 84 movement, visit here. Funding for this campaign was through the Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative.
Why focus on flavor?
You're a big tobacco company and you're losing smokers. Partly because people are getting smart, and partly because cigarettes have gotten too expensive for lots of people. So what do you do?
Create more smokers, of course.
Focus on hooking another generation with tobacco products like small cigars and e-cigarettes. Then make the stuff smell and taste like candy. Then wrap them up so they look nice on the shelf. Make them cheap, and drop a few million into marketing your sweet stash to Black and Latino teens.
Because no one's really going to notice, right?
To them you’re just money
Make them sweet. Make them cheap. Make them pretty. Then spend millions a year in advertising with hip hop and celebrities.
It’s no secret tobacco companies spend more on advertising in areas with larger African American populations. They’ve been doing it for more than 30 years.
They also know that if they can get you hooked with stuff that looks and tastes like candy, there’s a good chance they’ll have customers for life.
It's the law that cigarettes have to come in a pack of twenty. That means that with taxes a pack of cigarettes costs $10 or more. However, this law did not apply to small cigars — so stores could sell single cigars and they cost as little as $0.50.