How tobacco branding works

Did you know that the tobacco industry’s biggest growth area is amongst children? Did you know that they specifically target young people so that they become addicted from an early age?

We don’t think that’s ok and that’s why we’re supporting a new law that will make cigarette packets less attractive to children.

Children themselves say that if packs were made less appealing, that they wouldn’t smoke. Australia was the first country to bring in this type of law and it has had a very positive impact so far.

Marketing to children

Since it became illegal to advertise cigarettes in Ireland in 2002, the tobacco industry has been investing huge amounts of money in branding and packaging designed to attract new customers, most of whom are children.

80% of smokers start before the before the age of 18 and children in Ireland began smoking at an earlier age than in any other country in Europe. In order to continue making huge profits, the tobacco industry needs to recruit 50 new smokers a day to replace those who have either died or quit. Most of these new smokers are children.

Our research shows the truth about branding

Focus group research with 15 to 16 year olds, commissioned by the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Heart Foundation, found that young people associated visually attractive packs with looking and feeling better about themselves.

The teens consider the brand of cigarette they smoke to communicate important aspects of their personality and status and is as important to them as other brands in their lives such as their phone, trainers, clothes and computer.

Tobacco packaging and branding is the last remaining way for the tobacco industry to market its products to children.

The industry itself says, "In the absence of any other marketing messages, our packaging -- comprised of the trademark, our design, colour and information -- is the sole communicator of our brand essence. Put another way -- when you don't have anything else -- our packaging is our marketing." Philip Morris.

Watch our video

Date Last Reviewed: 
Friday, April 10, 2015
Date Last Revised: 
Friday, April 10, 2015