Carol McGruder



United Against the Globalization of Big Tobacco
Stop Cancer No. 9

We the undersigned, representing over 100 individuals and organizations from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, stand together in solidarity in opposition to the targeting of young women and girls by multi-national tobacco companies.  We specifically abhor the launch of RJReynolds’ new Camel No. 9 cigarettes and its aggressive national marketing campaign. Their campaign includes slick media advertising, tobacco sponsored events that co-opt youth popular culture.  These events include; free make-up, manicures, and hairstyling sessions and FREE cigarette and tobacco paraphernalia distribution.


Whereas, for decades, Camel has been a male focused cigarette.  Only 30% of Camel’s buyers are female.  When RJReynolds introduced Camel No. 9 cigarettes in January 2007, it launched a marketing blitz to make smoking appear hip, fashionable and glamorous, with ads aggressively targeting young women.  Estimates of spending for the introduction of Camel No. 9 range from 25 to 50 million USD (1),

Whereas, tobacco industry advertising has exploited girls and women’s concerns about body image, emphasizing the weight control benefits of smoking. Camel cigarettes strategically published a 9-page cartoon layout in Rolling Stone magazine to promote cigarette use in young women (2),

Whereas, in 1968 Philip Morris introduced Virginia Slims cigarettes directly targeting young, professional women using the famous slogan, "You've come a long way, baby."  The media campaign masterfully captured the power of the women’s liberation movement while simultaneously exploiting female body image concerns.  Virginia Slims market share increased 1168% (3).  Camel No. 9 is the Virginia Slims of this millineum!

Whereas, from 1968 to 1999 the lung cancer death rate for females increased 266%, whereas for males it increased by 15% (4),

Whereas, in 1970’s the rising tide of lung cancer in women led to predictions that by the 1980’s it would eclipse breast cancer as a leading cause of death.  Predictions came true in the mid-80’s and lung cancer now surpasses breast cancer as the leading cause of death in women (5),

Whereas, more than 25 million women in the U.S. smoke, and 1 in every 4 girls under the age of 18 smokes5. Since 1980, 3 million American grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, and friends have died prematurely from smoking related diseases and injuries (6),

Whereas, despite comprehensive education and anti-smoking campaigns, smoking rates are increasing among young women,

Whereas, the tobacco industry is increasing its use of bar and club venues in tobacco promotions aimed at young women and young adults,

Whereas, the tobacco industry distributes gift certificates and coupons as a strategy to bypass the existing restrictions on free tobacco sampling.  This advertising method was recently banned in California,

Whereas, members of the 18-24 age group continue to be vulnerable to marketing of tobacco, because many of them are in the later stages of smoking initiation and, as a result are still in the process of solidifying their addiction to tobacco (7),

Whereas, in the United States of America tobacco related deaths claim more lives than violence, AIDS, car accidents, and (non-tobacco-related) cancer COMBINED,

Whereas, in 1994, over 4,000 pages of secret documents were revealed in Congress, proving that as early as 1950 the tobacco industry knew that smoking caused cancer and that “nicotine was addictive.” These same documents revealed the scope and breadth of the predatory activity of multi-national tobacco companies,

Whereas, in 2006, Philip Morris (Altria), RJReynolds Tobacco Co., Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co., British American Tobacco Ltd., Lorillard Tobacco Co., and Counsel for Tobacco Research-U.S.A. were found guilty of federal racketeering under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, (RICO). Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Ac.

Be It Resolved that this day, Communities Under Siege-United Against the Globalization of Big Tobacco bring together San Francisco-Bay Area community leaders and members to unite and stand together to defend our young women against the predatory activity of multi-national tobacco companies.

Let it be known that we collectively

  1) Denounce the predatory activities targeting young women by Camel No. 9 cigarettes
  2) Demand that the Tobacco Industry be prohibited from giving away free cigarettes, tobacco products and paraphernalia including in venues where minors have no access.
  3) Denounce the acceptance of Tobacco Industry sponsorship in the San Francisco Bay area, we pledge not to accept tobacco industry dollars and we ask our community organizations, churches, elected officials and media not to accept said sponsorship either.

Be It Resolved that the we request the political leaders of the Bay Area to do all in their power to safeguard the interest of all residents of the Bay Area from the Tobacco Industry.  This should include maintaining adequate funding levels for tobacco control activities, continuing to view tobacco as a global issue, continuing to enact and enforce comprehensive tobacco control measures, and prohibiting free tobacco product distribution.

1 Elliot, S. (2007). A New Camel Brand is Dressed to the Nines, Retrieved: December 11, 2007 from New York Times Website: www.nytimes.com. 2 Lifsher, M. (2007). California, other states sue Reynolds over Camel Advertising. Retrieved December 18,2007, from LA Times Website: www.latimes.com 3 Toll, B.A., Ling, P.M. (2005). The Virginia Slims identity crisis: an inside look at tobacco industry marketing to women. Tobacco Control. 14:172–180. 4 Kazerouni, N., Alverson, C., Redd, S., Mott, J., Mannino, D., (2004). Sex Differences in COPD and LungCancerMortalityTrends—United States, 1968—1999. Journal of Women’s Health 13 (1), 17-235 Kelly, A., Blair, N., Pachacek, T. (2001). Women and Smoking: Issues and Opportunities, Journal of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Medicine 10(6), 515-518 6Meisler, J. (2003) Toward Optimal Health: The Experts Discuss Lung Cancer in Women. Journal of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Medicine 10(5), 423-427 7 Sepe, E & Glantz, S. (2002). Bar and club tobacco promotions in the alternative press: Targeting young adults.  American Journal of Public Health, 92(1), 75-78


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