Report for: Imperial Tobacco Limited - Subject Project Plus/Minus
This 72-page, 1982 marketing research document written for Imperial Tobacco by Kwechansky Marketing Research, inc. is a comprehensive examination of the smoking habits of children. It examines why children begin to smoke, why they persist, and why they quit (if they can). It discusses their fears of health consequences and ignoring of same, beliefs about acceptance and rejection by their peers, how and why they attempt to quit smoking, and the power the addiction has over them.
The paper hypothesizes that since children start smoking due to peer pressure, that peer pressure could conversely give rise to a wave of quitting among youth:
The more smokers who quit, the more pressure there is on those still smoking to do so, too. No smoker can put up with the anxiety that they might end up as the only person left smoking.
One passage notes the power that the addiction has over children, saying,
The smoker, even the young one with very limited means, always finds money to buy cigarettes. Some willingly trade smoking for other expenditures including lunch; if they have just enough money for cigarettes or food, smoking wins every time...
The paper also paints a clear picture of the psychology involved in portraying smoking as "an adult custom" and an "adult behavior":
...The child, though, is told not to smoke, not even to think about it. What better way, then, to feel grown up than by flying in the face of such an apparent contradiction and trying it to learn firsthand?...Rebelliousness and boldness, beyond curiosity, accounted for many early trials...
Title Project Plus/Minus
Author: Kwechansky Marketing Research, Inc.