20 April 2018Alcohol and Tobacco Ads: Should Promoting Alcohol and Tobacco be Banned?
What is alcohol and tobacco? Why do people drink alcohol and smoke tobacco a lot, despite of the consequences it causes themselves and the people around them? Alcohol and tobacco is an intoxicating drug that can cause addiction. In our society today, alcoholism is becoming a major health issue along with smoking and drugs. By promoting it, it will ignite the curiosity of the people, especially the youth who never tried those products. This curiosity will lead to distraction to the lives of our youth. By banning the alcohol and tobacco promotion will give the youth and the world a better future.
Now a day, the most common factor for preventable diseases, injuries and premature death is alcohol and tobacco use. Selling alcohol and tobacco is legal for adults, but in some stores, although its illegal, youth under 21 years of age, can buy alcohol and tobacco. A matter that is much worse is other states sell alcohol and tobacco to youth under 18 years of age. The urge for youth to use intoxicated products is because of the advertisement that they watch on TV or other ads. If looked into the marketing tactics of both alcohol and tobacco industry, they are more appealing and targeting the youth.
APHA’s (American Public Health Association) is an organization and its main objective is to address the alcohol and tobacco industry that their advertisement is targeting the youth and they should make an effort to minimize this. According to APHA, “the majority cause of health problems associated with teenage tobacco use arise later in life, alcohol-related trauma is the leading cause of death for minors.” (Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol and Tobacco Products to Youth) In America, both alcohol and tobacco are the most promoted products, “the promotional cost is around $3.6 billion for tobacco industry and $2 billion for alcohol industry, which is tax deductible.” (Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol and Tobacco Products to Youth) Alcohol and tobacco ads rely more on printed images, commercials, purchase campaigns that leads their product to success, friendship, attractiveness, social acceptance, and physical strength. These images give a large impact to the youth, as youth is easily to persuade. Though, both industries deny that they promote to young people, researchers find their campaigns are more appealing to teenagers and children.
One great example of this, is the ads of Old Joe Camel cigarettes in 1988. The front of their ad is a cartoon camel modeled after James Bond and Don Johnson of “Miami Vice.” From the time the campaign started, the statistics shows that Camel’s contribution of the children cigarette market increased from 0.5% to 32.8%. The American Medical Association documented in December 1991 that this campaign of Joe Camel cigarettes attracts more teens than adults. “One of their study, it shows that 93.6% of high school students identified Joe Camel to Camel cigarettes compared to 57.7% of adults. Another study shows that 91.3% of six-year-olds children, identify Joe Camel, the same as the statistics who recognized Mickey Mouse.” (Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol and Tobacco Products to Youth) Due to this, in March 1992 the Surgeon General joined forces with American Medical Association to appeal to RJReynolds Tobacco Company to stop using Joe Camel cartoon character as their model in all their advertisement and promotions as it is appealing to the youth. Industry codes, for advertising addressed this matter of using cartoons in the advertisements, but it was ignored by the alcohol and tobacco industries. Since the advertising code to limit the advertising images that attracts the youth is not followed, they appointed the National Commissions for Drug-Free Schools to resolve this matter. Because of this young people did not see the alcohol and tobacco as harmful for them. According to the 1990 survey on Drugs and Drinking, over 45% of grades 4 to 6 recognized alcohol and tobacco as drug. Many of these students before they reached 21, they see both alcohol and tobacco attracted because of the ads they see on the television, magazines, billboards, and places where they display alcohol and tobacco for selling.
According to statistics there are likely double the percentage of a non-college-educated young adults smokers than the college-educated. “Smoking behavior of young adults is important, … First, they are at risk for smoking more as they grew. Second, adulthood stage is pivotal period for smoking behavior. Finally, smoking behavior among young adults is predictive in later years.” (Green) Study shows that the young adults started smoking from the age 18 to 24 and continuously smoking until they reach adulthood. Most of the population of this smokers are none college students, labor force, unemployed, or in the armed forces.
“Smoking causes numerous types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory diseases.” (Dickinson) Despite of this effects to the health, still millions of people are keep on consuming this dangerous product. Public health concern alerts the schools officials, and other public places, due to this they create the campus as a non-smoking area. We can see also in malls and some public area, that smoking is prohibited. Despite of the effects of tobacco and cigarette to the health, adolescents are continuing to smoke. Why is that so? One of the ingredients of cigarettes and tobacco is nicotine. “Nicotine is a chemical that, when in the blood stream can make a person’s mood boost and may even relieve minor depression.” (Dickinson) That is why our young people choose to smoke, boost their moods. Another thing why they continue smoking is that, cigarette and tobacco is an intoxicated drug that can lead to addiction. “Addiction is a complex brain disease involving compulsive behaviors, including the pathological use of nicotine, alcohol, illicit drugs, controlled prescription drugs, or a combination of these.” (Dickinson) Campuses ban smoking not only to help the smokers to quit but also for the non-smokers. Secondhand smoke is also dangerous to the health. The risk for the secondhand smoke is double than the risk to the smoker.
Today’s world adolescents are more on technology and television; according to survey, “11 to 13 years old watch 27.7 hours and 14 to 18 years old watch 20.2 hours of broadcast and taped television programming each week.” (Boonie) Due to these ads on television, teenagers get involved in alcohol drinking and smoking tobacco. If looked at it closely there are lots advertisement for alcohol and cigarette on TV. Though there is warning at the end of every promotion, young people do not focus on that. In movies, “portrayals of negative consequences of drinking are relatively rare…57 percent of films with alcohol references portrayed no consequences to the user.” (Boonie) In addition to this, more than 90 percent of the movie, watched by people, support alcohol use and less than 40 percent show their discouragement for alcohol use. Knowing this, there will be at least one teenager will be encouraging to drink.
“Study shows, that the more the teens are exposed to beer advertisement the more they will drink as adults. Survey shows that 73% of underage drinking is because of the influenced by the advertisement to young people.” (Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol and Tobacco Products to Youth) Another alcohol advertising they used, is sponsorship. Alcohol industry uses local and national sports events, athletes and teams, musicians and entertainment industries, educational programs, and scholarships to promote their products. Example of this is Anheuser-Busch, this company sponsors major league baseball teams, 20 out of 28 NFL teams, more than 300 college teams, and thousands of college events. Another is the Miller, Miller sponsors 600 college market rock concert, and 3,000 concerts for the youth market. If looked into it, beer uses sports programs for promotion, there is approximately 8 commercials per sport program, which is 73% of young people is watching sports programs.
Alcohol has many effects to the human body, one of this is, it affects our brain. “It may be inhibiting or stimulating to the main neurotransmitter systems, depending on dose and brain area; it may dampen or activate the stress response; and, … it has troublesome effects on cognition, perception, impulse control, alertness, mood, and judgement.” (Galanter) This are the reasons why alcohol is one of the main cause of road accidents. Some people turn to alcohol to forget their problems, to feel less embarrass in social situation, and to be comfortable within themselves. In the study of alcoholism, alcohol craving is often not reduced, and it may increase after the first drink due to the pleasurable experience of “high.” It gives the user a druglike response to continue their drinking. Opposite from drug addiction, repeated drinking of alcohol the neural systems adapt to it and compensate for the presence of the alcohol in the body that makes it counter direction the effects of alcohol. Study shows that drinking alcohol has some positive benefits, such as tension reduction or social disinhibition. In their experiment shows that exposure to alcohol has a sign of physiological arousal such as increased in heart rate, skin conductance and increased your alcohol craving.
On the other side, moderate alcohol drinking can protect people from dementia and type two diabetes, Klatsky said. In addition to this, study shows, that a low amount of alcohol can produce euphoria and reduction of stress, which is good for the heart, says Dave. Moderate drinking can cause relaxation, relaxation produce good attitude and positive thinking that gives a better outcome.
What are the benefits of smoking tobacco or cigarettes? “The article postulates that nicotine found in cigarettes reduces psychiatric, cognitive, sensory, and physical effects of schizophrenia, and also provides relief of common side effects from antipsychotic drugs.” (Health Benefits of Smoking) Study shows that nicotine is an anti-inflammatory agent that can lessen some of the inflammatory disorders. Tobacco is also use as appetite suppressant, University of Melbourne claimed, that is why many people use tobacco to treat themselves for compulsive overeating and obesity. Though smoking has a health benefits, this should not be considered, as tobacco smokers tends to live shortly and experience many chronic diseases.
Since both alcohol and tobacco has some benefits, advertising should be limited. It should be according to the advertising code. Promoting alcohol and tobacco in accordance to the benefits it can give to the consumer is better, rather than the advertisement which targets the young people showing being young, adventurous, socially and sexually attractive. “Alcohol and tobacco is two heavily promoted products industries in America.” (Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol and Tobacco Products to Youth) Each promotion and advertisement of both products are taxable, it will be a big lost for the government if banning the advertisement and promotion of these products.
To conclude, alcohol and tobacco is harmful to the health because it is like a drug that gives you the feeling of “high.” Like drugs sometimes you’ll be out of control and can cause lots of crime. My research shows that an alcohol intake can affect the function of the brain, relationship to others, ability to function normally, and a lot more. Tobacco and cigarettes on the other hand, can cause lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases, that leads to death. It also dangerous for the secondhand smoker and the effect of it is double than the smoker. Seeing the disadvantages of both alcohol and tobacco to people, knowing that their promotion and advertisement targeted the youth, and both industries does not comply to advertising code, banning its promotion and advertisement, is the only option. Banning their advertisement and promotion, the government will lose lots of money, but the other side of it, how many lives can be save if we ban it? Money cannot bring up the death, or restore the health of each person that alcohol and tobacco ruined, but healthy people can produce money.
“Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol and Tobacco Products to Youth.” AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION, www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database/2014/07/29/10/58/advertising-and-promotion-of-alcohol-and-tobacco-products-to-youth.
Bonnie, Richard J., Mary Ellen O’Connell and Prevent UnderageDrinking. Alcohol in the Media: Drinking Portrayals, Alcohol Advertising, and Alcohol Consumption Among Youth. 2004. 20 3 2018. <https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/nbk37586>.
Dickinson, Hayley. Tobacco Use on College Campuses: Should Smoking Be Banned? 2014. 20 3 2018.<http://digitalcommons.wou.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=honors_theses>.
Doheny, Kathleen. “FAQ: Alcohol and Your Health.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/cancer/features/faq-alcohol-and-your-health#4.
Galanter, Marc. The Consequences of Alcoholism: Medical, Neuropsychiaric, Economic, Cross-Cultural. New York, Plenum Press, 1998, web.a.ebscohost.com.lscsproxy.lonestar.edu/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/b[email protected]sessionmgr4010&vid=9&format=eb&lpid=lp_1&rid=0.
Green, Molly, et al. “A Closer Look at Smoking Among Young Adults: Where Tobacco Control Should Focus Its Attention.” American Journal of Public Health 97.8 (2007): 1427-1433. 20 3 2018. <http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/ajph.2006.103945>.
“Health Benefits of Smoking Tobacco.” Sott.net, www.sott.net/article/221013-Health-Benefits-of-Smoking-Tobacco.