What They Do

Big Tobacco dishes out millions of dollars (to be precise, $1 million an hour) to market their deadly and addictive products. What’s even worse is that they market their products in a way that appeals to youth. The tobacco industry knows that their customers are dropping like flies, and who better to replace them than you and your peers? The tobacco industry knows that nearly 90% of smokers started smoking before their 18th birthday.  


Reality Check Youth Show How They Feel the Tobacco Industry is Following Them and Trying to Get Them to Start Smoking

“Younger adult smokers are the only source of replacement smokers.”
— Tobacco Industry

The tobacco industry has a reputation for lies and deceit, from lying about their products being addicting to denying for years that they target youth, when their own internal documents clearly indicated otherwise. In 2006, after a 9 month trial, Judge Gladys Kessler stated:

“The evidence is clear and convincing…that [tobacco companies] have marketed to young people twenty-one and under while consistently, publicly, and falsely denying they do so.”
— Judge Gladys Kessler

What They've Said

Have you ever wondered what Big Tobacco truly thinks of their customers? What skeletons big tobacco has in their collective closet? Straight from the source, here are some key quotes from the tobacco industry. Keep in mind that these quotes come from an industry who lied under oath about nicotine being addictive. In addition, big tobacco has spent decades denying that they target youth with their marketing. We let the facts do the talking


“The ability to attract new smokers and develop them into a young adult franchise is key to brand development.” 
– 1999 Philip Morris report, “Five-Year Trends 1988-1992.” Bates No. 2044895379/484

“It is important to know as MUCH as possible about teenage smoking patterns and attitudes. Today’s teenager is tomorrow’s potential regular customer…”
-1981 Philip Morris research report on young smokers

“Younger adult smokers are the only source of replacement smokers…If younger adults turn away from smoking, the industry must decline, just as a population which does not give birth will eventually dwindle.”
-1984 R.J.R. Report, “Young Smokers: Strategies and Opportunities”

“If the tobacco companies really stopped marketing to children, the tobacco companies would be out of business in 25 to 30 years because they will not have enough customers to stay in business.”
-Bennet LeBow, President of Vector Holding Group (Liggett)

“Tobacco products uniquely contain and deliver nicotine, a potent drug with a variety of physiological effects.”
-1972 R.J.R. research and planning memo

“[I]f our company is to strive and prosper, over the long term we must get our share of the youth market…. Thus we need new brands designed to be particularly attractive to the young smoker,” 
– R.J. Reynolds, 1973 Bates No. 505101981-1992

“If children don’t like to be in a smoky room, they’ll leave.” When asked by a shareholder about infants, who can’t leave a smoky room,"
Harper stated, “At some point, they begin to crawl.”
-Carrig, David, “RJR Wins Fight”, USA Today: B1, April 18, 1996

“What do you think smokers would do if they didn’t smoke? You get pleasure from it, and you get some other beneficial things, such as relief. Maybe you’d beat your wife.”
-Geoffrey C. Bible, New York Times Magazine, June 21, 1998