Big Tobacco has known the power of the media for decades and has a long history with the entertainment industry. The tobacco industry uses tobacco imagery and brand identification on screen to both normalize and glamorize tobacco use.
Teens consume more media than ever, watching an average of almost 11 hours of media in any given day. The media youth consume is often completely unregulated, giving the tobacco industry direct access to teens’ daily lives.
The tobacco industry uses the media to target youth by having their favorite actors and actresses light up on both television and movie screens. Research shows that the more smoking youth see on screen, the more likely they are to start smoking. Giving movies with smoking in them an R rating can protect youth from influential tobacco industry. A petition to remove smoking from youth-rated movies can be found at https://go.asyousow.org/take-action-tobacco-free-funds.
As teens spend more and more time on the web, Big Tobacco spends more and more cash on internet marketing. There are currently no state or federal laws regulating how the tobacco industry markets on the web. This gives the industry free range to target youth in new covert ways through buzz/viral marketing.
With anonymous posting as easy as the click of a mouse, the tobacco industry can easily claim innocence while recruiting new replacement smokers for the 1200 Americans they lose daily to tobacco related illnesses.
Reality Check aims to expose the tobacco industry and de-normalize and de-glamorize tobacco use on screen.
Interested in becoming part of Reality Check and creating a Tobacco-Free Generation?