Big tobacco accused of using alcohol, gambling to attract new smokers

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 19, 2006

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The growing number of marketing campaigns linking smoking to high-risk activities such as the excessive consumption of alcohol and gambling is an attempt by industry to convince a new generation to light up, according to a report issued by the American Lung Assn. last month in honor of World No Tobacco Day.

The report, "Alcohol-Flavored Cigarettes -- Continuing the Flavored Cigarette Trend," highlighted several campaigns that the lung association felt would be particularly attractive to teens and young adults. For example, last year R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. sold limited-edition cigarettes flavored with scotch and gin. These products were linked to a "Camel Casino" campaign that encouraged people to go to the brand Web site and gamble for credits that could be used for promotional products and cigarette coupons.

"The industry's goal is obvious -- to get young people hooked on smoking," said John L. Kirkwood, president and CEO of the lung association. Both the ALA and the American Medical Association reiterated calls for stronger regulation of this industry.

"The AMA is extremely concerned that the tobacco industry is allowed to market alcohol-flavored cigarettes, since these products could easily appeal to youth who are beginning to experiment with alcohol," said AMA President J. Edward Hill, MD.

At press time, R.J. Reynolds officials were not available for comment.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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