Eliminating Tobacco Advertising
Children and young adults are very impressionable. They are also the most likely in our society to follow trendy fashions, lifestyles and habits that are glamorized in advertisements. This holds true even if there is a chance that their “trendy behaviors” could cause harm to them. A recent survey of 14,138 Harvard college students conducted by Dr. Riolotti, a leading author of the Journal of the American Medical Association, revealed that the majority of the students associated people who smoked with being “young, hip, successful…and sexy.” (Irvine) Most tobacco advertisements contain models that give off the message that smoking is essential to the ideal lifestyle. Elimination of tobacco advertising will lead to a decrease in tobacco use. If young people are not exposed to tobacco advertising, they will be less likely to use tobacco products.
Those who oppose this view may argue that tobacco doesn’t have to be advertised to increase sales of tobacco products. They may contend that tobacco is a product that has always been used by a large percentage of people in the United States. They believe that tobacco is a mainstay in American culture and that tobacco products are common knowledge.
The opposing view fails to realize with their argument that young adults are becoming the largest percentage customers in tobacco use. Models that appear in tobacco ads are our current American role models. If the “hip people” are in their ads suggesting that smoking is the current trend, young people are going for the bait.
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