Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cigarette Companies Engaged in Human Sacrifice!

Erm...Make that Capitalism....

Cigarette makers used menthol to lure young

WASHINGTON - Tobacco companies deliberately changed the menthol levels in cigarettes depending upon who they were marketing them to — lower levels for young smokers who preferred the milder brands and higher levels to "lock in lifelong adult smokers," researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found.
The researchers reviewed industry documents dating back decades on product development and on strategic plans for menthol products.
They said that the tobacco companies researched how controlling menthol levels could increase sales among specific groups. Milder brands with lower menthol levels appealed to younger smokers. The milder products were then marketed to young consumers.

The main line people are using is a variation of the above "Cigarette Companies Attract Young Smokers with Menthol."
Though USA Today takes it one step further with their headline that Cigarette Makers use Menthol to Addict Teens!

The dishonest implication is that the evil cigarette companies are going after CHILDREN (gasp) with their nefarious menthol. But buried in the middle of a few of the articles is the following info:

In 1987, R.J. Reynolds marketed low-level menthol varieties to persuade consumers to switch from regular brands and to recruit new, young smokers, noting: "First-time smoker reaction is generally negative. ... Initial negatives can be alleviated with a low level of menthol."
Philip-Morris USA used a two-prong strategy to increase Marlboro's share in the menthol market by targeting young adults and older smokers, the researchers concluded. Marlboro Milds were introduced nationally in 2000 and became popular among young smokers. The entry of that product coincided with an increase in the menthol level of the regular Marlboro Menthol brand intended for older smokers. The milds were responsible for almost 80 percent of the company's menthol-category growth that year.

So, they're targeting young...ADULTS? The horror!

In the real world, this is what's known as capitalism. The cigarette companies got that their product was too harsh for most people and used menthol to soften the effects. They figured out what their clients wanted and gave it to them. As even the Harvard researchers noted, they were going after OTHER companies clients, and were trying to negate the initial displeasure by new smokers (this means people were trying their cigarettes and not enjoying them). More people enjoyed the product...and they made money as a result!

This is no different than dozen of other companies have done, from diet coke, to vietamin water. This is simply the market. Lots of companies produce unhealthy (to various degrees) products, and aren't the subject of witch hunts.

So how did all these news corps get the idea that cigarette companies were going after babies when they were targeting adults?

Greg Connolly, one of the report's co-authors, said the tobacco industry was careful not to talk about adolescents in the documents he reviewed, mostly from the '80s and '90s.
"They talk about young smokers. For me, that's just a euphemism for going after adolescent, first-time smokers," Connolly said.

Oh. Well, that just goes to show how if you have an agenda going in that you'll find what you want to find...even if the evidence doesn't support it.

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