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August 12, 1992

Cigarette Advertising and Corporate Responsibility

JAMA. 1992;268(6):782-783. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490060114036

In the National Cancer Institute's first Smoking and Tobacco Control monograph released last October,1I stated my belief that the new generation of cartoon advertisements promoting Camel and Kool cigarettes would only serve to recruit millions of adolescents to the smoking ranks. With publication of the December 11, 1991, issue of JAMA, in which three independent studies reported a link between such advertisements and youth awareness and use of Camel cigarettes, this concern has proved justified.

As an apparent result of the December 11 issue, RJR-Nabisco has gone on the offensive to discredit findings from these studies and, perhaps to confound their critics, has announced an antismoking campaign targeted to youth.2 Ironically, the newly announced youth campaign also uses cartoons. According to the Wall Street Journal,3 RJR-Nabisco defended their use of cartoons on the grounds that their own marketing tests revealed that children didn't relate as well