It seems as though everyone is trying to shut down big tobacco. Even traditional smoking havens such as France have banned smoking in public places. This being the case I thought it might be a good though exercise to see how the tobacco industry could resurrect itself much as alcohol has over the past century. Once banned by the US Constitution alcohol has now become a heart friendly drink that is advertised all over TV and print and tobacco could do the same.

  • The Smoke In Moderation campaign could go a long way for cigarette advertising. Big tobacco keeps denying that smokes are addictive so they should take a lesson from the alcohol industry and encourage people to “smoke in moderation”. This could be written on every pack, further convincing social smokers that they are not addictive. Further couple this with a new line of smaller cigarette packs of 10 (instead of 20) and call them “weekenders” or “Social Smokes”.
  • Initiative is one of the greatest assets big corporations have against government legislation. Up for debate on the Hill this past week was legislation that would allow the FDA to control what chemicals are allowed in a cigarette. The tobacco fat-cats should just remove a bunch of those annoying carcinogens (nicotine is not one by the way) and at the same gain some decent PR and get Uncle Sam off of their back. The government can’t move as fast as big business (not that either are greased lightning themselves) and tobacco should take advantage.
  • Light cigarettes are a great success and Coke Zero is really Diet Coke with a cool new name and design. Don’t believe me? Compare the ingredients of the two products. Tobacco manufacturers could really take a cue from this and create a new line of light cigarettes that seem lighter than what is already out there. It’s working for Coke, why not cigarettes? I think some cool names like “Camel Vapors” or “Marlboro C10” would be great.
    • C10H14N2 is the chemical formula of nicotine.
  • Go back to the roots of smoking and have ads featuring native Americans, French philosophers, and iconic American presidents who smoked. Almost everyone before 1960 did because it wasn’t bad for you back then, remember?
  • Enlist famous smoking celebrities to appear in print ads. Famous smokers are out there (I’m sure Depp, Sienna Miller or Spears would do it) and I’m sure that some would be OK with earning some extra dough. If not, the tobacco industry should create it’s own magazine reminiscent of Wine Spectator and just put famous faces on the cover. Remember Jessica Alba?
  • Place testimonials or people who have quit smoking cold turkey because they are out there, just make sure that they don’t tell why (cancer, coughing, impotence) they quit.
  • Jeanne Louise Calment the woman with the longest confirmed lifespan in the world lived to be 122 and she smoked until she was about 117. From the south of France no less, there are other old smokers out there defying medical science, tobacco should jump on it. By the way, she only quit because she was too embarrassed to ask for a light 😉
  • Focus on the economic impact and number of jobs big tobacco provides and simply don’t mention the number it kills. Hey, at least they had jobs right?
  • Hookah flavored cigarettes. Need I say more?
  • Create a weekly YouTube program including discussions on smoking, news, etc. This will help bolster recognition and the more people think of cigs the more they will want to smoke. Since you can’t advertise tobacco on TV (at least here in the US) YouTube is the next best/better thing.
  • Stop being racist.
  • Open up some outdoor smoke bars called “Mist Cafes” and make smoking trendy again. Plus tobacco industry, you beat any no-smoking laws.
  • Get smokers to stand up and encourage them to contact their representative in Congress. Here in DC there is a no-smoking ban in place for businesses, unless the business can demonstrate that there has been a 5% loss in business. Guess what? Business is actually up, so big tobacco have your customers go straight to the source, and make sure they enlist some celebrities for their cause along the way.
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Other forms of drugs are legal so why not cigarettes? Of course there are arguments like second-hand smoke, but what about drunk driving? Similar I’d argue and the only difference between the tobacco industry and the alcohol industry is marketing, big tobacco you can (but probably won’t) do the same. And if you want to funnel any funds my way feel free. 😉

Comments are as always welcome 🙂