Researchers from the Department for Health, on behalf of the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies (UKCTCS), have set up a Facebook page which highlights tobacco industry tactics to encourage the sale of cigarettes.
The University’s Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) has identified several methods used by transnational tobacco companies in response to the changes within the global tobacco market.
Tactics include new and innovative packaging and new products aimed specifically at young people and women.
The TCRG launched the Facebook site to document new packaging and marketing initiatives of the tobacco industry in the UK.
It shows how cigarettes have evolved to offer smokers more choice such as capsule technology which releases aromas through the tobacco, advanced filters for ‘light’ options and superslim cigarettes targeted at women.
It includes cigarette promotions in shops and at festivals, and the launch of new packaging designs and brands that appeal to different groups.
Professor Linda Bauld from the UKCTCS said: “In the UK the marketing of tobacco products is becoming increasingly restricted, for example this month a ban on the display of tobacco products in large shops came into force, and the government has begun a consultation on plain packaging. Due to measures such as these the tobacco industry works hard to develop innovative ways to promote their products.
“This Facebook page aims to provide people with a place to post photos or comments about new or innovative tobacco marketing that they see around the UK such as new products, new packaging, displays in shops, promotional activities at events, in nightclubs, or in the street, and online advertising.
“We’re hoping to track some of the new developments in UK tobacco marketing, and the information collected through the page will be used to inform us and the direction of our research.
The Facebook page can be found here.
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