The Geek smokes, he is trying not to but that is another story. He usually smokes camel and he showed me with some ammusement the new bright coloured box he had. It is part of a new limited edition coloured boxed like the ones in this picture. He was surprised how vehemently I reacted against them. They are fun and bright, very clever marketing, I have even heard adults on twitter say that they have not smoked in years or were about to quit and were tempted by the new fun colourful boxes.
Marketing that targets adults is one thing but using bright fun colours often associated with kids, toys and sweets is irresponsible, especially for a brand of light cigarettes, which might be a starting choice for teens. If adults are struggling to resist what about under age teens this holiday? Making smoking fun is irresponsible and dangerous. Tobacco companies can do what they like to adults, but when they blur the line and target children I get furious.
Titus (23 months) has never shown any interest in The Geek’s cigarettes, but he saw the box on the counter, pushed over a chair and got them down and tried to eat them because he thought they were sweets! If a baby under 2 is programmed to associate bright colours with sweets and something nice what chance to older kids have.
I am disgusted and appalled at the lack if integrity and regard for children’s safety.
If you like me feel strongly about this, and I encourage every parent with their child’s well being at heart to take the time to complain.
I have as yet not managed to get any tobacco company to take ownership of the camel brand. Everyone tells me it is someone else. Apparently it is owner by RJ Reynolds and there is a number 0118075033
but the number is never answered. I did read something that said that Camel was being brought into SA under Jti and I have emailed them a complaint, there is no direct number.
You can email a complaint to asasa.org.za There is a very simple on line form to fill in.
Blog about it
Complain to any shops that you see stocking them
Complain on Hello Peter
Complain to the department of Health
Email or tweet you local government representative. I am going to tweet Helen Zilla. @helenzilla
Our kids need protecting at all costs.