| Sunday, June 05, 2005
| TOBACCO TARGETED WOMEN
|BOSTON ---- Tobacco companies did elaborate research on women to figure out how to hook them on smoking-- even toying with idea of chocolate flavored cigarettes that would curb appetite, according to a new analysis.
Researchers at Harvard University's School of Public Health said they examined more than 7 million documents -- some dating back to 1969, others as recent as 2000 -- for new details about the industry's effects to lure more women smokers.
Carris Carpenter, the study's lead author, said companies research went far beyond a marketing campaign.
"They did so much research in such a sophisticated way," she said. "Women should know how far the tobacco industry went to exploit them."
The report, published in the June issue of the journal addiction, says tobacco companies looked for ways to modify their cigarettes to give women the illusion they could puff their way into a better life.
One of the documents, a 1993 internal report from Philip Morris, extolled the virtues of making a longer, slimmer cigarette that offered the false promise of a "healthier" product.
A Philip Morris spokesman declined to comment on the report, saying the company has'nt had a chance to fully review it.
Looked at 'neuroticism'.
The Harvard researchers spent more than a year sifting through an online database of internal documents made public after the 1998 settlement between tobacco companies and 46 states.
Carpenter said they found at least 320 documents that focused on women's smoking patterns, including a 1982 report from British American Tobacco Co., that said women buy cigarettes to help them "cope with neuroticism".
"We can safely conclude that the strength of cigarettes that are purchased by women is related to their degree of neuroticism", the report said.
Other internal studies showed that companies explored adding appetite suppressants to cigarettes.
In 1980, for instance, RJ Reynolds Co., proposed creating a cigarette with a unique flavor that decreases a smoker's appetitie, including brandy, chocolate, chocolate mint, cinnamon, spearmint and honey".
However, researchers did'nt find anyevidence they follwoed through that idea.
The report says worldwide smoking rates among women are expected to increase 20 percent by 2025, while men's smoking rates are steadily declining.
(Associated Press/by: Michael Kunzelman)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 10:41 PM