I was disappointed and disheartened when I saw the very prominent cigarette ad on page 2 of the Jan. 14 edition of the Journal. The damage caused by tobacco use is not in question. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the world.
About half of those who use tobacco today will be killed by it. The tobacco industry knows that for its industry to survive, it must replace customers who quit or die. Therefore, tobacco companies spend more than $1 million an hour marketing and promoting their products. Tobacco advertising is effective at increasing consumption.
Targeted advertising encourages children and young adults to try tobacco and move on to regular use. Tobacco companies target rural and other vulnerable communities. As a result, rural communities in California, including Humboldt, have some of the highest smoking rates. Unhealthy messaging is not limited to magazines and newspapers. Inside corner markets and stores where kids go to buy candy, even pharmacies, they are confronted by tobacco imagery and advertising.
In a time when so many of us are stressed and feeling hopeless, this feels like targeted advertising. Our youth, and community, deserve better.
Grace Brosnahan, McKinleyville