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Thursday, November 21, 1996

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  • Great American SmokeOut, Tobacco Giants Target Youths

    Today is the 20th Great American SmokeOut, the annual day sponsored by the American Cancer Society to encourage people to kick the habit. In the past year, much of the anti-smoking efforts have been aimed at children, because every day in the country, 3,000 young people under the age of 18 start smoking. That adds up to one million new smokers each year, helping the tobacco industry replace smokers who quit or die of cigarette related diseases. Today on Democracy Now!, we’ll talk about how the tobacco giants target youth; we’ll hear excerpts of a new video called Smoke Alarm, and we’ll have a debate between advertising/pr people on the ethics of marketing tobacco to kids. But first, we bring you this excerpt of a hearing held by Democrats in Congress this fall, where 12 year old Justin Hoover of West DesMoines, Iowa told Representatives how he started smoking at the age of six, how easy it’s been to get cigarettes and how hard it’s been for him to quit.

  • Tobacco Advertising Industry and Youth Smokers

    The debate over tobacco marketing to children really took off with JOE CAMEL, the oh-so-cool cartoon mascot for Camel cigarettes that 91 per cent of 6 years olds can recognize. Much of the criticism of Joe Camel was aimed at the big tobacco companies — but what about the advertising industry — the messenger, if you will. Last September, Daryl Travis of the Chicago Council of American Association of Advertising Agencies wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post saying that his industry would be ashamed of itself for pushing cigarettes to kids. He joins us now from Chicago for a debate with Thomas Lauria, Assistant to the President of the Tobacco Institute, the trade association of cigarette and tobacco products manufacturers.