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February 23, 1994

Kid Stuff...

JAMA. 1994;271(8):578-579. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510320018006

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THE TOBACCO industry claims it does not want children to smoke. However, tobacco control experts point to tobacco advertisements and promotional items that they say have great appeal to children (clockwise beginning on top). From early years on, candy cigarettes and realistic toy cigarettes (such as this one "not recommended for children under the age of 8 years") let children play-smoke. These and other gimmicks make tobacco seem an acceptable, if not desirable, part of life. For adolescent fun on the beach, these promotional Camel flip-flops stamp "Camel" into the sand with each step. The Salem toy challenges players to get all the plastic cigarettes through a hole on top of the pack. Many cigarette advertisements contain sexual messages that link tobacco products with sexual desirability, gratification, performance, and conquest. The provocatively posed young woman on the Kool billboard and the Marlboro cowboy—well endowed with a box of smokes—are promising

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