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Poor Areas and Marketing by Tobacco Companies

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The extract shows that areas inhabited by disadvantaged residents or African Americans typically have the largest concentration of tobacco and smoke shops. According to a survey released in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, regions, where most homes are leased to customers, provide a broader network of shops that offer a convenient access point for tobacco. Studies have shown that cigarette products are advertising a lot inconvenience outlets with about 30 commercials in each store. A survey carried out in each U.S County revealed that there are about 11.3 shops per 1000 individuals. Also, there is an indirect relationship between the percentage of tobacco stores and the income level of societies. According to Joseph Lee, a faculty member at the Carolina University, tobacco enterprises direct a lot of their advertising funds to retailers leading to the many adverts seen in various stores across the country. He also suggests that most of these retail shops are located in low-income communities. Additionally, societies which occupied by Asian Islanders, white or Hispanic residents have a constant store density.

Kulp, P. (2017, February 12). A new anti-smoking ad slams Big Tobacco for targeting black neighborhoods. Retrieved from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2017/02/12/tobacco-ads-target-diversity.amp

The extract talks about an anti-smoking group that is against large tobacco firms that spend a lot of money advertising their products in African American communities. The group has been running an advertisement that suggests that these businesses are taking advantage of people’s diversity. The ads feature a former MTV VJ and comedian called Amanda Seales who provides information to viewers about the excess commercials promoting tobacco use close to low-income institutions of education, African American neighborhood and other locations that are occupied by poor residents. According to surveys, poor African American societies have ten times more tobacco ads compared to affluent communities. Many anti-tobacco adverts focus on the adverse health effects of smoking such as cancer and respiratory complications and only a few focus on the discriminatory characteristics of the adverts which target poor citizens in American communities. According to the research conducted by the Truth initiative, the young generation was not aware of the discrimination by tobacco businesses but became upset and angry after getting the information.

Truth Initiative. (2017, January 31). Tobacco is a social justice issue: low-income communities. Retrieved from Truth initiative: https://truthinitiative.org/news/smoking-and-low-income-communities

The writer suggests that the adverse effects of smoking are more common in marginalized populations such as ethnic and racial minorities, poor societies, and people with mental illness and LGBT individuals. In their quest to increase sales in low-income homes, large tobacco companies have given out coupons, offered free cigarettes to residents in housing projects and even issued prepaid debit cards. The writer notes that a majority of individuals who have an annual income that is below average are frequent smokers. According to a report in 2016 by the United States National Cancer Institute and World Health Organization, the health gap between the affluent and poor communities is attributed to the use of tobacco. The article notes that more than 25% of individuals below the poverty line are active smokers. People with less education have higher rates of smoking, and 75% of unemployed and homeless grown-ups utilize tobacco. Additionally, these poor residents have a hard time in rehabilitation centers.

Smith, S. (2010, August 30). Tobacco signs still target city's poorer areas. Retrieved from Boston: http://archive.boston.com/news/health/articles/2010/08/

Big tobacco businesses have plastered every corner and street with little and big signs, horizontal and vertical signs that announce the availability of smoking and cigarettes at gas stations and stores located in poor locations. The adverts have been put in various strategic places in these neighborhoods such as propping sings against windows and facades and affixing the ads on gas pumps and light poles. A few years back, storefront tobacco was almost banned from advertising close to schools, but the firm continued to promote their products to poor communities in Boston where a majority of the residents are Hispanic and African American. Despite the restrictions put on advertising in media stations and billboards, tobacco enterprises have fought to maintain their market by utilizing storefronts. Therefore, their influence in low-income societies is still high with stores being their last line of defense where representatives from the cigarettes company install ads on the stores.

Shekhtman, L. (2015, December 5). Tobacco companies are targeting young people in poor countries to combat dropping sales. Retrieved from Business insider: https://amp.businessinsider.com/tobacco-companies-target-young-people-in-poor-countries-2015-12

The writer notes that the reduced frequency of smoking in prosperous nations has reduced the market for cigarettes and in an attempt to increase sales, these firms have resorted to targeting young people in developing countries to maintain profitability. In States such as Zimbabwe, India, and Pakistan, tobacco marketing is extensive, and many young citizens are hooked on the cigarettes. Although The WHO passed a convention that restricts the availability and marketing of tobacco, many big firms such as British Tobacco Company (BAT) have made inroads into many African states. According to Anna Gilmore, a public health professor, tobacco businesses utilize marketing to increase the addiction the young individuals and children have on cigarettes. Enterprises are replacing the lost customers from wealthy communities with young people located in third world countries. According to a survey conducted between 2009 and 2012 in more than 400 cities, deaths caused by smoking will be high in emerging nations in the next few years, and it is estimated that about 70% of this deaths will occur in developing states.

Counter Tobacco. (2015). Disparities in point-of-sale advertising and retailer density. Retrieved from Counter tobacco: http://countertobacco.org/resources-tools/evidence-summaries/disparities-in-point-of-sale-advertising-and-retailer-density/

Since the products sold by tobacco companies have negative impacts on people’s health, their marketing techniques target particular societies or groups thus propagating social inequalities that result in health disparities. These firms take advantage of the shallow perceptions of culture in various parts of the world when marketing their products. For instance, the adverts from the industry target specific groups that include low-income communities. The article suggests that tobacco advertising is high in poor African American residents where the products are made available in large quantities in retail shops. Additionally, the price of cigarettes is considerably lower in these poor communities. According to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report produced by the CDC in 2001, people with lower academic qualifications are more prone to smoking. The writer notes that the uneven exposure to tobacco ads and distribution of point of sale outlets provides an opportunity for more resident of particular communities to buy the goods. Even though a high percentage of Africa American communities are poor, they have been a specific target for cigarette ads.

Reynolds, R. J. (2010). Tobacco Company marketing to African Americans. Campaign for tobacco free kids. Washington, DC, Unites States of America.

In the U.S, many residences occupied by people of color such as Hispanic and African American communities have a low-income. The poor state of these groups is exploited by tobacco firms which have focused their adverts to these locations in a bid to increase sales. Throughout history, the industry has been targeting African-American communities by employing various strategies despite the restrictions from the federal government. Some of the strategies used by these industries include price discounts, point-of-sale marketing, branding among others. Some of the promoted products are cigarillos, cheap cigars, and menthol-flavored cigarettes. The targeted group has suffered most from the health complications brought by smoking, and many Africa American individuals have died at an early age. Additionally, the adverts have initiated many young people into tobacco use and increased the rate of smoking for established smokers. Many of the kids in these communities become established smokers as early as 18 years old.

References

Counter Tobacco. (2015). Disparities in point-of-sale advertising and retailer density. Retrieved from Counter tobacco: http://countertobacco.org/resources-tools/evidence-summaries/disparities-in-point-of-sale-advertising-and-retailer-density/

Crist, C. (2017, March 16). Poor,minority neighborhoods have more toacco-selling shops per capita. Retrieved from Reuters: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN16N2VR

Kulp, P. (2017, February 12). A new anti-smoking ad slams Big Tobacco for targeting black neighborhoods. Retrieved from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2017/02/12/tobacco-ads-target-diversity.amp

Reynolds, R. J. (2010). Tobacco company marketing to African Americans. Campaign for tobacco free kids. Washington, DC, Unites States of America.

Shekhtman, L. (2015, December 5). Tobacco companies are targetig young people in poor countries to combat dropping sales. Retrieved from Business insider: https://amp.businessinsider.com/tobacco-companies-target-young-people-in-poor-countries-2015-12

Smith, S. (2010, August 30). Tobacco signs still target city's poorer areas. Retrieved from Boston: http://archive.boston.com/news/health/articles/2010/08/

Truth Initiative. (2017, January 31). Tobacco is a social justice issue: low-income communities. Retrieved from Truth initiative: https://truthinitiative.org/news/smoking-and-low-income-communities

October 26, 2021
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