Tobacco industry marketing aimed at women

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Tobacco industry documents about marketing to females:

Cigarette marketing to women in China

Tobacco industry activity in Hong Kong provides a good example of an attempt by a tobacco company to create a market, and reveals the faultiness of the industry's oft-used argument that brand-switching is the only intended function of tobacco advertising. In 1984, Philip Morris launched the Virginia Slims brand in the Hong Kong market. The ads were clearly targeted at young women, and showed images of beauty, slimness and the promotion of Western cultural images, and with clear messages of emancipation. Television advertisements first showed an old-style black and white movie of a young woman controlled by her father then switched images of a young, chic woman of today. "But things are different now" was the theme of this advertisement. According to government statistics at the time, only about 1% of women under the age of 40 years smoked in Hong Kong, so the number who could be targeted by this expensive advertising blitz simply for brand-switching alone was negligible. Instead, the advertising effort seemed to be a clear attempt to create a market.[1]


  1. International Organization of Consumers Untions, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital Tobacco Control in the Third World: A Resource Atlas 1990. 254 pages. Bates No. 2060476817/7069

<tdo>search_term=feminine</tdo> Additional suggested search terms: slim, YAFS (for "Young Adult Female Smokers"), "female smoker market"