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Tobacco Industry Targeting Youth
  1. Sandra Braun1,
  2. Raul M Mejia1,4,
  3. Pamela M Ling2,
  4. Eliseo J Perez-Stable3
  1. 1 Hospital de Clinicas, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina;
  2. 2 UCSF, Argentina;
  3. 3 University of california, San Francisco, United States


    Background: Argentina has one of the highest cigarette smoking rates among both men and women in the Americas and no legislated restrictions on Tobacco Industry (TI) advertising. The TI has traditionally expanded markets by targeting women who tend to smoke in lower proportion than men and developing strategies to reach adolescents. The objective of this study was to determine whether and how the TI marketed their products to adolescents and women in Argentina.

    Methods: We conducted a systematic search of TI documents available through the Internet dated between 1995 and 2004 using standard search terms to identify marketing strategies in Argentina. A selected review of the four leading newspapers and nine magazines with reported high readership among women or adolescents was completed. The selected print media was searched for tobacco images and these were classified as advertisement if associated with a commercial product or as a story if not.

    Results: TI used market segmentation as a strategy to target Argentinean consumers. British American Tobacco (BAT) undertook a young adult psychographic study and classified them as “progressives”, “jurassics” or “conservatives” and “crudos” or “spoiled brats”. BAT marketed Lucky Strike to the “progressives” using Hollywood movies as a vehicle. They also targeted their national brands to the conservatives and linked these brands with “nationalistic values” in advertising campaigns. Phillip Morris promoted Marlboro by sponsoring activities directed to young people. In addition they launched the 10-cigarette box as a starter. TI marketing research disclosed that women smokers were resistant to being singled out for being female. TI promoted light cigarettes to women and featured them in traditional gender roles in advertising.

    Conclusions: TI used psychographic segmentation of the Argentinean population, and developed marketing strategies focused on women and youth. Tobacco control researchers and advocates must be able to address these strategies in counter-marketing interventions.

    Statistics from


    • 4 Corresponding author.

      E-mail raulmejia{at}

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