Tobacco Industry Targeting Young People

This page was last edited on at

Key points

  • Worldwide, around 50 million young teens (13-15) either smoke cigarettes or use smokeless tobacco, and nearly 155 million youth (15-24) smoke tobacco.12
  • 90% of new users of tobacco products become addicted by the age of 25.3
  • Annually, this addiction causes more than 8 million deaths and approximately US$2 trillion in economic damage.4
  • Most adults who smoke begin using cigarettes before they are 18 years old.5

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) define “young people” as individuals aged between 10 and 24 years. Within this age range, they define “adolescents” as those aged 10 to 19 years, and “youth” as those aged between 15 and 24 years of age.67 In this article we describe how the tobacco industry targets youth specifically, while also referring to young people more broadly.


Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) has played a significant role in fuelling the worldwide spread of tobacco use and portraying smoking as desirable to young people – instead of deadly.8 While the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and global tobacco control regulations have limited the ability of the tobacco industry to market its products, transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) continue to develop strategies to appeal to young people in order to secure the future of their business.910

Several research studies have proven that young people are particularly vulnerable to tobacco advertising, with evidence linking exposure to a higher likelihood of young non-smokers starting smoking in the future.8101112 As such, Article 13 of the WHO FCTC aims to ban TAPS in all its forms.1314 As of 2024, 183 parties to the WHO FCTC have successfully implemented restrictions on TAPS, covering 90% of the population around the world.13 Complementing these efforts, some countries have implemented further measures to discourage youth smoking, such as banning tobacco retail outlets close to schools and other youth-oriented facilities.15

For up-to-date information on tobacco regulation, see the Tobacco Control Laws website, published by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK)

TTCs have employed a wide range of marketing tactics to circumvent advertising bans, including strategic product placement, direct and indirect advertising and diverse portfolios of tobacco products to attract “replacement smokers,” including young non-smokers.101617 As a 1984 R.J. Reynolds report stated:1819

Younger adult smokers are the only source of replacement smokers… If younger adults turn away from smoking, the industry must decline.”

In 2022, TTCs invested over US$8 billion in tobacco marketing in the US alone.20 TTCs also deliver and publicise various corporate social responsibilit (CSR) initiatives, in order to create a positive impression about their business, often with a focus on youth, and pre-empt government regulations.212223

History of Youth-Targeted Tobacco Marketing

The history of tobacco marketing shows how companies have developed their marketing strategies over the decades.24 In 1789, the Lorillard brothers first marketed their tobacco products in New York newspapers, a strategy which remained unchanged for 70 years.25 However, new methods of advertising were also developed which had a greater appeal to younger audiences, often including the use of vibrant imagery, memorable messaging and free gifts.24

  • Capitalising on the influence of popular athletes on young people, tobacco companies began selling tobacco packs with trading cards featuring photos of sports players, aimed at young collectors.2627 This early form of sponsorship leveraged the athletes' popularity and positive image, to associate tobacco with the notions of health, strength and a good physique.2627  

  • Tobacco companies targeted women by using the concept of female emancipation to promote smoking. The American Tobacco company, manufacturer of Lucky Strike, recruited women to smoke "torches of freedom” while protesting for equality in a New York parade.2829  

  • Television quickly captured children's attention and became a main leisure activity.30 This gave the tobacco industry an opportunity to make tobacco products more visible to children in the home.24 The US and the UK banned tobacco advertising on television in 1971 and 1965, respectively, and further bans followed around the world.831 However, even when tobacco imagery aimed at children is banned, smoking may still appear in TV programmes and films that they watch.8323334        

  • R.J. Reynolds launched the controversial "Smooth Character" multimedia advertising campaign, featuring the iconic Joe Camel cartoon character smoking cigarettes (see Image 1).353637Health experts flagged effectiveness of the "Smooth Character" campaign in the targeting of children in particular.36

    Image of the Joe Camel cartoon's poster

    Image 1: Joe Camel Cartoons (Source: Standford.edu38)

  • In 2011, Philip Morris International (PMI) launched an extensive mass media campaign under the slogan “Don’t be a Maybe. Be Marlboro,” directly targeting youth aged 18-24.39 This campaign originated in Germany and quickly expanded across 50 countries, focusing on characteristics likely to appeal to youth such as romance, creativity and decisiveness.40 For more information, see Be Marlboro: Targeting the World’s Biggest Brand at Youth.

  • In 2021, in Germany, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) ran disguised adverts on social media to promote its cigarette brands Camel, Winston, and American Spirit.41 These adverts focused on areas of interest to young people, including music and travel. Pages were listed under the categories "festivals" and "communities", seemingly aligning with the platforms' rules and policies, but without making it clear that they were connected to JTI’s Winston brand.41 JTI's strategy involved personal marketing as well, where users were required to visit JTI's website or follow a specific account. It also involved direct promotion and sales at festivals and events.41 JTI set up a website named “Sei So Frei” (Translation: “Be So Free”) paying “homage to joie de vivre, enjoyment, diversity and independent action” (translated). This website also connected to the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Another website “Ganz genau” (“Exactly”) promoted Winston cigarettes and also linked to social media platforms, with competitions to win tech prizes.41      

Specific strategies, products and tactics are detailed below.

Marketing Strategies

Point of sale

Following introduction of restrictions on TAPS in traditional media such as television, radio and magazines, the tobacco industry opted to focus on point-of-sale as a critical channel for advertising and promoting tobacco products.4243

In 42 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), TTCs continue to intentionally target non-smokers and young people, including at outlets located within a short walking distance of schools and playgrounds.444546 They use four main tactics:

  • Displaying cigarettes near snacks, sweets, and sugary drinks.46
  • Placing cigarettes and cigarette advertisements near children’s eye level.46
  • Selling single cigarette sticks (see below for more details).46
  • Promoting flavoured and sweet tobacco, such as menthol cigarettes and cigarillos.47

Online marketing and retail

TTCs have also increased investments in alternative channels such as social media and online advertising.48 In the US, 40% of young people are exposed to multiple types of digital tobacco marketing on websites, through social media, via email, and on digital TV.4950515253 Product websites are designed to be appealing and attractive, and are frequently updated with new games, contests, and other engaging content. Though the products are not necessarily displayed directly, company branding and imagery is visible (as with JTI’s “stealth advertising” detailed above).4150

Tobacco companies have also used online shopping websites to reach young people directly, and deliver products straight to the doorstep, sometimes even across borders.5054

Social media

95% of teenagers actively use social media, making these platforms key channels for tobacco industry marketing. Despite rules prohibiting paid tobacco advertising on major social networks like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, TTCs have circumvented these restrictions by running brand pages.5556 Most leading tobacco product brands maintain a presence on at least two social media platforms, while around one-third of smokeless tobacco brands appear on at least one platform.57 Tobacco companies provide links on their Facebook and Instagram pages that allow users to purchase tobacco products without having to leave the social media sites.58

The tobacco industry, or third-party marketing agencies, also hire what are known as “brand ambassadors” – basically paid influencers with large numbers of young followers. BAT allocated GB£1 billion per year for campaigns to promote their newer nicotine products, leveraging the widespread popularity of social media influencers, pop stars, and sports events.596061

TTCs’ brand ambassadors often create posts with deliberately placed hashtags or visible packaging, that are designed to promote nicotine products in the guise of natural social media activity.626364 For example, UK Singer Lily Allen was paid by BAT to promote the e-cigarette Vype on social media platforms, triggering complaints to the UK Advertising Standards Authority.

Products Appealing to Youth

Flavoured cigarettes

Cigarettes infused with additional tastes, such as menthol or fruit, are more popular among young people.65 These additives are thought to help establish and sustain tobacco use.6667 For example, a study conducted in 2018 in the US found that menthol cigarette use was significantly more prevalent among young people, with rates ranging from 43% to 50% (figures rounded).68 Over 90% of black teenagers who smoke also use menthol cigarettes.69

Once again, industry documents reveal the industry’s motives. In 2011, researchers uncovered a handwritten memo from BAT, titled “Project Kestrel”. The memo, presumed to be from the 1970s or 1980s and made public in 1997, promoted development of flavoured cigarettes targeting young people. Its stated objective was:7071

“To develop a brand which “breaks the rules”, to appeal to a new generation and shock their parents, to make conventional brands look bland and weary.”71


Two flavours which were discussed as options were Root Beer & Brazilian Fruit Juice, both of which tend to appeal to the younger generation while being rejected by their parents.”71

TTCs also use appealing point-of-sale displays and attractive packaging to market flavoured cigarettes, normalising and promoting them amongst young people.7273 Product innovations such as flavour capsules, also popular among younger people, are of growing concern.74

Newer nicotine products

Since the early 2000s TTCs have developed interests in newer nicotine and tobacco products, including e-cigarettes (also known as electronic delivery systems, or ENDS), heated tobacco products (HTPs), snus-type nicotine pouches. Companies have referred to these types of products as “next generation products” (NGPs) although terminology changes over time.

TTCs and their subsidiaries have launched newer nicotine products to maintain revenue streams. Even with regulations prohibiting sales to minors, 2023 figures from the UK show that over 20% of children between 11-17 years old have tried using e-cigarettes, and nearly 8% actively use these products (figures rounded).757677 This is at least partly due to companies using sweet flavours that are more likely to appeal to young people. Research also indicates that flavours play a crucial role in encouraging young people to begin using e-cigarettes.78

Companies also employ tactics to promote newer nicotine products which are no longer permitted for marketing of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and waterpipe tobacco. These include media spots, point-of-sale displays, and sponsorship.7980 The Association for Young People’s Health, an NGO working on youth health improvement, has raised concerns, pointing out that “young people, who are early adopters of all new technologies, may be attracted to use e-cigarettes whether or not they already smoke.”81 There have also been increasing concerns about growing youth use of single-use (disposable) e-cigarettes and associated environmental harms in multiple countries. TTCs have invested in these single-use products.

According to Martin McKee, professor of European public health:

It is very clear that these corporations are spending huge amounts of money in developing new products….This makes no sense whatsoever if these are [meant to be] cessation products that will be used for a short while. The only rationale for putting this amount of effort into the design is to create a new generation that is addicted to nicotine.” 59


Waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS) is becoming increasingly popular among youth and young people because it is socially accepted in some communities, perceived as a novel and exciting experience, available in a variety of appealing flavours, and relatively affordable compared to other tobacco products.82

Waterpipe tobacco companies such as Al-Nakhla, acquired by JTI, have broadened their product lines to include flavoured tobaccos, known as Maasel (or Mo’assel), which has boosted waterpipe smoking among youth and women.8384


Selling single cigarettes sticks

Selling cigarettes as single sticks, rather than in packs, makes them more appealing, affordable and accessible, particularly for young and under-age people.85 This tactic is widespread but is especially common in LMICs, making it easier for youth to initiate and sustain smoking habits.86 Although Article 16 of the WHO FCTC specifically calls for a ban on the sale of individual cigarettes or small packs, the reality on the ground, as shown by the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, tells a different story. In LMICs such as the Philippines,87 Bangladesh,88 and India,89, the market for single-stick cigarettes for under-age people is flourishing. This is due to the higher price sensitivity towards cigarette packs, making single stick sales a more viable option for many young people, particularly those from poorer backgrounds. In Argentina, for example, sales of single cigarette sticks are higher among students from poor neighbourhoods.90

The sale of single sticks has various benefits for the tobacco industry:

  • It reduces young people’s exposure to health warning labels on packs of cigarette.8591
  • It sabotages quit attempts of young people who smoke, by ensuring cigarettes are easily accessible, triggering relapses into smoking.92
  • It helps to overshift taxes and increase profitability with increased taxes.93 Single sticks can also be more profitable for retailers than selling whole packs.91

In violation of its own marketing principles, British American Tobacco (BAT) objected to the restriction on sales of single sticks in Uganda. It also ran promotional campaigns for single cigarettes in Nigeria, which involved the distribution of posters to retailers displaying the price of a single cigarette with features like “buy one, get one free”.919495

CSR Targeting Youth

TTCs like to present themselves as responsible corporate citizens, and as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities they run youth smoking prevention programmes.

For example, under its “Responsible Marketing” practices,96 BAT states that it is committed to preventing youth smoking: “no one under age should ever smoke or use products containing tobacco or nicotine.”969798However, BAT has been accused of targeting youth in its marketing activities around the world,4399100 including in LMICs in Latin America,101102103 and Africa.104105106 Studies comparing tobacco industry programs to public health campaigns have demonstrated that the industry’s efforts are less effective. Rather than prevent smoking, they tend to overlook its harmful health effects and possibly even subtly promote tobacco use.107108 For example, tobacco industry youth smoking prevention programmes often frame smoking as an “adult choice”, which risks making smoking more appealing to children.107109 In 1999, PMI even ran a series of advertisements portraying smoking as “forbidden fruit”.107 Although less overt now, these marketing practices continue.109

TTCs also run scholarship programmes and make financial contributions to higher education:110

  • In Brazil, PMI funds the Growing Up Right Institute, also supported by the Ministry of Labour, to provide apprenticeships in managing tobacco farms to students aged 15-17.111
  • In Egypt, JTI sponsored “Be Happy, Bride”, a charity project aimed at orphans and disadvantaged girls. This project received endorsements from the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation.112
  • BAT runs an annual “Battle of the Minds” competition and has targeted university students and other young entrepreneurs in LMICs.113 Advocates in Bangladesh have described this as being more about the promotion of BAT’s brand than employment generation or leadership building.114 In Africa it has been described as a strategy to “shape its image and maintain its legitimacy in the public and commercial spheres.”115

The WHO FCTC views CSR primarily as a way for these companies to enhance their reputation and public image.116 It therefore prohibits all tobacco CSR activities under the implementation guidelines of Articles 5.3 and 13 to prevent the tobacco industry’s exploitative marketing practices and protect public health.117118 However, a 2023 report on the progress of WHO FCTC implementation showed that 45% of signatures to the treaty had not yet implemented a ban on CSR activities.119

Sponsorship of Youth-Oriented Activities


Tobacco industry sponsorship of Formula One (F1) racing goes back to the late 1960s.120121 In 2022, BAT and PMI made headlines by spending US$40 million sponsoring the McLaren and Ferrari teams.122

In 2021, the global audience for F1 races reached over 1.5 billion viewers across different platforms.123 In 2019, research by IPSOS indicated that this sport is particularly popular among young people, with 61% of new fans being under 35 years old and 36% below the age of 25.124 This makes F1 very attractive to tobacco sponsors keen on connecting with younger fans.

In 2018, Netflix released “Drive to Survive,” a documentary series that covers the F1 World Championship across multiple seasons. This series has played a significant role in making F1 more popular among younger viewers.122125 Whenever McLaren (sponsored by BAT) or Ferrari (sponsored by PMI) were featured in the Netflix series or trailers, the presence of advertisements for newer nicotine products and tobacco company messaging was hard to miss.122126 Despite policies prohibiting tobacco advertisements, viewers in some countries were still exposed to the tobacco company branding featured in the documentary.122126

Video games and virtual reality

Video games also play a significant role in the lives of young people, helping to shape their attitudes and encourage them to adapt new habits.127 TTCs exploit this influence by developing their own video game titles, as well as advertising products through “advergaming”. 128 For example, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, PMI featured Marlboro logos on the virtual race cars in F1 simulator games in themed bar promotions, and laptop-based video games.127

TTCs are also now venturing into Virtual Reality (VR), such as the metaverse, taking advantage of the unclear or absent regulations on digital tobacco advertising. This technology is already popular among youth, with over half of its users being 13 or younger.12858

In Indonesia, Djarum, a local cigarette manufacturer, sponsored virtual parties targeting young introverts on Instagram. These posts featured virtual avatars holding flavoured tobacco cigarettes with an invitation to “join the party,” circumventing the direct advertising restrictions on the platform.128129

Music, art and fashion

TTCs have also utilized music sponsorship as a means of targeting young people.8 Music can transcend barriers such as literacy and language, making it an effective tool for reaching a wide audience.130 Music sponsorship also allows the tobacco industry also associate its products with positive characteristics such as creativity and self-expression.131

Some examples of tobacco industry sponsorship of music, art and fashion include:

  • Since 2002, in Indonesia, the PMI subsidiary Sampoerna has strategically connected its sponsorship of the SoundrenAline music concert series to online marketing campaigns.131
  • BAT Australasia has targeted young women by associating Dunhill cigarettes with designers Wayne Cooper and Peter Morrissey, exploiting loopholes in tobacco advertising laws to sponsor elite fashion events.132
  • Philip Morris Italia sponsored a scouting event with Vogue magazine for IQOS (its heated tobacco product). They sought “the most promising young (over-18) designers, favouring the exchange between innovation and creativity” to design accessories for IQOS, adding two links to the product website on the event page.133
  • JTI has sponsored cultural venues including the British Museum, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Academy of Arts.134


TTCs have a long history of exploiting football for promotional purposes. They sponsored and advertised at international tournaments until FIFA prohibited tobacco industry sponsorship in the late 1980s.135136 Today, young fans make up 50% of the billions of football enthusiasts worldwide,137138 providing an enormous incentive to the industry to find ways around TAPS bans. For example, BAT found a way to circumvent the ban by sponsoring a media campaign during the 2002 FIFA World Cup.136139 The campaign included commercials on Malaysian television for its Dunhill cigarette brand, targeting football fans in a country where the sport is immensely popular.136139

As well as sponsoring teams and tournaments, tobacco companies use digital marketing to launch special football-themed tobacco packs, endorse football stars, sponsor broadcasts and match viewings.140141 In Indonesia, during the 2022 World Cup, Djarum’s football brand Super Soccer hosted “Soccerphoria” events in four major cities, blending sports and art to promote limited-edition World Cup cigarette packs to young people.142

Fighting public health laws

Various countries have started discussing policies to end the use of tobacco products completely, sometimes referred to as “tobacco endgame” policies.

In October 2023, the UK Prime Minister proposed a generational endgame policy that would ban the sale of all tobacco products to anyone born after 1 January 2009. The government initiated a consultation on this new law as well as measures to curb youth e-cigarette use.143144145 The tobacco industry objected to this plan, arguing that this policy would restrict personal freedom, and it would be unworkable and impossible to police. 146 As an alternative to the generational ban, TTCs suggested raising the smoking age to 21, arguing that a generational ban would fuel illicit trade and unduly impact retailers.

Relevant Links

TCRG Research


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. The Tobacco Atlas, Youth, website, 26 October 2023, accessed April 2024
  2. M.B. Reitsma, L.S. Flor et al, Spatial, temporal, and demographic patterns in prevalence of smoking tobacco use and initiation among young people in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019, The Lancet, 2021 Jul 1;6(7):e472-81, doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(21)00102-X
  3. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, The Lancet & The Lancet Public Health: Latest global data finds nearly 8 million deaths from smoking in 2019, and 90% of new smokers addicted by age 25, press release, IHME website, 27 May 2021, accessed April 2024
  4. Vital Strategies, Report: Global Tobacco Users at 1.3 Billion; Smoking Among Young Teens Ages 13-15 Increases in 63 Countries, press release, 18 May 2022, accessed April 2024
  5. U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, Youth and Tobacco Use, website, undated, accessed April 2024
  6. World Health Organization, Adolescent health, website, undated, accessed April 2024
  7. United Nations, Definition of Youth, factsheet, undated. Available from
  8. abcdeAction on Smoking and Health, Tobacco Advertising and Promotion in the UK, website, February 2019, accessed 2024
  9. World Health Organization, Tobacco use falling: WHO urges countries to invest in helping more people to quit tobacco, news release, 16 November 2021, accessed April 2024
  10. abcC. Lovato, A. Watts, L.F. Stead, Impact of tobacco advertising and promotion on increasing adolescent smoking behaviours , Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2011(10): CD003439, doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003439.pub2
  11. L. Robertson, C. Cameron, R. McGee et al, Point-of-sale tobacco promotion and youth smoking: a meta-analysis, Tobacco Control, 2016;25:e83–e89, doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052586
  12. X. Li, J.T. Borodovsky, E. Kasson et al, Exploring how tobacco advertisements are associated with tobacco use susceptibility in tobacco naive adolescents from the PATH study, Preventing Medicine, 2021 Dec 1;153:10675, doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106758
  13. abWHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Parties, website, undated, accessed April 2024
  14. World Health Organization, WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2023, accessed April 2024
  15. R. Alebshehy, Z. Asif, M. Boeckmann, Policies regulating retail environment to reduce tobacco availability: A scoping review, Frontiers in Public Health, 2023; 11: 975065, doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.975065
  16. U.S. Anee, H.M Miraz Mahmud, A. Islam et al, Tobacco Industry Branding Strategies and Its Influence on Young Adults, Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2021 Nov 1;22(S2):81-8, doi: 10.31557/APJCP.2021.22.S2.81
  17. World Health Organization, Tobacco: Industry tactics to attract younger generations, 25 March 2020, website, accessed March 2024
  18. R. J. Reynolds, Strategic Research Report. Young Adult Smokers: Strategies and Opportunities, Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, Bates no: 503170243-503170337
  19. Tobacco Free Kids, Tobacco Company Quotes On Marketing To Kids, factsheet, undated, accessed April 2024
  20. Federal Trade Commission, FTC Releases Reports on Cigarette and Smokeless Tobacco Sales and Marketing Expenditures for 2022, website, 30 October 2023, accessed April 2024
  21. WHO Eastern Mediterranean, Tobacco industry tactics: advertising, promotion and sponsorship, 2019
  22. B. Marshman, K. Wolf, K. McCausland et al., Tobacco companies, corporate social responsibility and the use of third-party awards: a framing analysis, Tobacco Control, 2023;0:1–7, doi: 10.1136/tc-2022-057854
  23. World Health Organization, Tobacco industry interference with tobacco control, website, 22 May 2008, accessed March 2024
  24. abcB.S Lynch, R.J. Bonnie (Eds), Growing up Tobacco Free: Preventing Nicotine Addiction in Children and Youths, Institute of Medicine (US), 1994
  25. L. Pritcher, Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920, John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History/Duke University Libraries, website, undated, accessed March 2024
  26. abA Blum, Tobacco in sport: an endless addiction?, Tobacco Control, 2005;14:1-2, doi:10.1136/tc.2004.010728
  27. abC. Kleb, K. Welding, J. E. Cohen, K. C. Smith, The Use of Sports Imagery and Terminology on Cigarette Packs from Fourteen Countries, Substance Use & Misuse, 2018 Apr 16;53(5):873-880, doi: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1363236
  28. A. Amos, M. Haglund, From social taboo to “torch of freedom”: the marketing of cigarettes to women, Tobacco Control, 2000 Mar; 9(1): 3–8, doi:10.1136/tc.9.1.3
  29. Cultural Currents Institute, How Lucky Strike Became an Icon of the Feminist Movement, 25 January 2023, accessed May 2024
  30. S. Livingstone, Half a Century of Television in the Lives of Our Children , JTSOR, 2009 Sep;625(1):151-63, doi: 10.1177/0002716209338572
  31. Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids Tobacco Control Laws, Tobacco Control Laws, website, accessed April 2024
  32. A. B Barker, J. Cranwell, I. Fitzpatrick, Tobacco and tobacco branding in films most popular in the UK from 2009 to 2017, Thorax, 2020;75:1103–1108, doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2020-214743
  33. A. B Barker, K. Whittamore et al, Content analysis of tobacco content in UK television, Tobacco Control, 2019;28:381–385, doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2018-054427
  34. I. Fitzpatrick, D. Byrne, A. B Gilmore et al, Quantifying and characterising tobacco content in the most in-demand streamed series in 10 low/middle-income countries in 2019, Tobacco Control, 2024;33:45–51, doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2022-057278
  35. L. Iglesias-Rios, M. Parascandola, A Historical Review of R. J. Reynolds’ Strategies for Marketing Tobacco to Hispanics in the United States, American Public Health Association, 2013 May; 103(5): e15–e27, doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301256
  36. abJ.P. Pierce, E. Gilpin, D. M. Burns et al, Does Tobacco Advertising Target Young People to Start Smoking?, JAMA Network, 1991;266(22):3154-3158, doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470220070029
  37. American Lung Association, 10 Really Bad Things the Tobacco Industry Has Done – and Is Doing – to Entice Kids to Start Smoking, website, 24 January 2024, accessed April 2024
  38. Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising (, Collection: Joe Camel Cartoons, website, 11 April 2021, accessed March 2024
  39. Frederic de Wilde, Philip Morris International Investor Day – Brand Portfolio and Commercial Approach, 21 June 2012, accessed April 2024
  40. S. Boseley, Marlboro marketing campaign aimed at young people, anti-tobacco report says, The Guardian, 12 March 2014, accessed April 2024
  41. abcdeM. Chapman, F. Moeck, Tobacco giant JTI placing stealth adverts for its brands on Facebook and Instagram, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 25 April 2021, accessed April 2024
  42. C. Pechmann, E.T. Reibling, Anti-smoking advertising campaigns targeting youth: case studies from USA and Canada, Tobacco Control, 2000 Jun 1;9(suppl 2):ii18-31, doi: 10.1136/tc.9.suppl_2.ii18
  43. abJ.L. Brown, D. Rosen et al, Spinning a global web: tactics used by Big Tobacco to attract children at tobacco points-of-sale, Tobacco Control, 2023;32:645–651, doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2021-057095
  44. C. Anderson, H. Becher, V. Winkler, Tobacco Control Progress in Low and Middle Income Countries in Comparison to High Income Countries, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2016 Oct; 13(10): 1039, doi: 10.3390/ijerph13101039
  45. J. Brown, Cigarette advertising aggressively targets kids in low- and middle-income countries, a new study finds, The Conversation, 10 August 2022, accessed March 2024
  46. abcd, John Hopkins: Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Tiny Targets, website, undated, accessed April 2024
  47. J. Audrain-McGovern, D. Manikandan et al., Effect of sweet flavouring on the rewarding and reinforcing value of cigarillo use among young adults, Tobacco Control, 2023 Nov 24:tc-2023-058307, doi: 10.1136/tc-2023-058307
  48. J. Gannon, K. Bach et al, Big tobacco’s dirty tricks: Seven key tactics of the tobacco industry, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation, 2023;9(12):39, doi: 10.18332/tpc/176336
  49. S.J. Venrick, D.E. Kelley et al, U.S. digital tobacco marketing and youth: A narrative review, Preventive Medicine Reports, 2023 Feb; 31: 102094, doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2022.102094
  50. abcL. Bach, Tobacco Product Marketing on The Internet, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 3 November 2021, accessed March 2024
  51. S.Marsh, Millions of young people exposed to vape posts online, charity says, The Guardian, 8 December 2023, accessed April 2024
  52. S.I. Donaldson, A. Dormanesh, Association Between Exposure to Tobacco Content on Social Media and Tobacco Use, JAMA Pedriatrics, 2022 Sep; 176(9): 878–885, doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.2223
  53. B. Brock, S.C. Carlson et al, Reaching consumers: How the tobacco industry uses email marketing, Preventive Medicine Reports, 2016 Dec 1;4:103-6, doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.05.020
  54. S. Peeters, A.B. Gilmore, How online sales and promotion of snus contravenes current European Union legislation, Tobacco Control, 2013;22:266–273, doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050209
  55. B. Freeman, New media and tobacco control, Tobacco Control, 2012;21:139e144, doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050193
  56. E.Y. Vogels, R. Gelles-Watnick, N. Massarat, Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022, Pew Research Center, 10 August 2022, accessed April 2024
  57. S.J. Venrick, D. E Kelley et al., U.S. digital tobacco marketing and youth: A narrative review, Preventive Medicine Reports, 2023 Feb; 31: 102094, doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2022.102094
  58. abSTOP, Digital Danger: How Big Tobacco Sells Addiction Online, 19 January 2024
  59. abM. Chapman, New Products, Old Tricks? Concerns Big Tobacco is Targeting Youngsters, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 21 February 2021, accessed March 2024
  60. R. Davies, M. Chapman, Tobacco giant bets £1bn on influencers to boost ‘more lung-friendly’ sales, The Guardian, website, 20 February 2021, accessed April 2024
  61. Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, Ambassadors and the tobacco industry, TobaccoWatch, website, 10 January 2022, accessed April 2024
  62. S. Kaplan, Ambassadors and the tobacco industry, The New York Times, 24 August, 2018, accessed April 2024
  63. truth initiative, Industry influencer: how tobacco content is infiltrating social media, website, 20 July 2023, accessed April 2024
  64. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Sponsored: The Tobacco Industry’s Social Media Marketing Tactic, website, undated, accessed April 2024
  65. S. Krishnan-Sarin, S.S. O’Malley et al, The science of flavour in tobacco products, World Health Organ Tech Rep Ser., 2019 Oct 24; 1015: 125–142
  66. A.C. Villanti, L.K. Collins, R.S. Niaura et al, Menthol cigarettes and the public health standard: a systematic review, BMC Public Health, 2017;17(1):983
  67. A. Herbeć A, M. Zatoński M, W. Zatoński et al, Dependence, plans to quit, quitting self-efficacy and past cessation behaviours among menthol and other flavoured cigarette users in Europe: The EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys, Tobacco Induced Diseases, 2019;16(2)
  68. R. D Goodwin, O. Ganz, Menthol Cigarette Use Among Adults Who Smoke Cigarettes, 2008–2020: Rapid Growth and Widening Inequities in the United States, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2023 Mar 22;25(4):692-698, doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntac214
  69. K. D’Ardenne, How menthol cigarette ads target Black people, women and teens, website, 18 October 2022, accessed April 2024
  70. 147J. Coombs, L. Bond et al, “Below the Line”: The tobacco industry and youth smoking, 2011; 4(12): 655–673, doi: 10.4066/AMJ.20111018
  71. abcwww Gate Net Jeannon Documents Kestrel T, Project Kestrel, Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, 22 August 1997, ID:xqly0069
  72. J. Hoek, R. Edwards, A. Waa, How the tobacco industry targets young people to achieve a new generation of smokers, PHCC, 28 May 2022, accessed April 2024
  73. truth initiative, Bold and bright: How tobacco companies market flavored products to appeal to youth, website, 22 February 2018, accessed April 2024
  74. C.N. Kyriakos, M.Z  Zatoński, F.T. Filippidis, Flavour capsule cigarette use and perceptions: A systematic review, Tobacco Control, Published Online First: 04 October 2021, doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2021-056837
  75. Action on Smoking and Health, Use of e-cigarettes (vapes) among young people in Great Britain, June 2023, accessed April 2024
  76. C. Abate, Tobacco Companies Taking Over the E-cigarette Industry, Healthline, 16 October 2019, accessed April 2024
  77. Office for National Statistics, Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2022, website, accessed April 2024
  78. B. W Chaffee, E. T Couch, M. L Wilkinson et al, Flavors increase adolescents’ willingness to try nicotine and cannabis vape products, Drug Alcohol Depend,  2023 May 1:246:109834, doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2023.109834
  79. D. Campbell, Health experts call for action on e-cigarette packaging aimed at children, The Guardian, 29 August 2021, accessed April 2024
  80. S. St. Claire, R. Fayokun et al, The World Health Organization’s World No Tobacco Day 2020 Campaign Exposes Tobacco and Related Industry Tactics to Manipulate Children and Young People and Hook a New Generation of Users, J Adolesc Health, 2020 Sep;67(3):334-337, doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.06.026
  81. House of Commons, E-cigarettes, 17 August 2018, accessed April 2024
  82. M.P. Martinasek, R.J. McDermott, Waterpipe (Hookah) Tobacco Smoking Among Youth, Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care, 2011 Feb;41(2):34-57, doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2010.10.001
  83. H. Qasim, A.B. Alarabi et al, The effects of hookah/waterpipe smoking on general health and the cardiovascular system, Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, 2023 Feb; 15(2): e34802, doi: 10.7759/cureus.34802
  84. N. Singh, M. Jawad et al, Features of the waterpipe tobacco industry: A qualitative study of the third International Hookah Fair, F1000Res, 2018 Feb 28:7:247, doi: 10.12688/f1000research.13796.2
  85. abSTOP, Single Sticks Fact Sheet, April 2023. Available from
  86. E. Savell, A.B. Gilmore, The environmental profile of a community’s health: a cross-sectional study on tobacco marketing in 16 countries, Bull World Health Organ, 2015;93:851–861G, doi: 10.2471/BLT.15.155846
  87. R.A. Arrazola, L.M. Durta et al, Association of tobacco control policies with cigarette smoking among school youth aged 13–15 years in the Philippines, 2000–2015, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation, 2020;6(6):35, doi: 10.18332/tpc/12244
  88. STOP, In Bangladesh, Single Sticks Fuel Multiple Problems, 28 April 2023
  89. S. Kapoor, R. Mehra et al, Banning Loose Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products in India: A Policy Analysis, Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2021 Nov 1;22(S2):51-57, doi: 10.31557/APJCP.2021.22.S2.51
  90. B. Linetzky, R. Mejia et al, Socioeconomic Status and Tobacco Consumption Among Adolescents: A Multilevel Analysis of Argentina’s Global Youth Tobacco Survey, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2012 Sep; 14(9): 1092–1099, doi: 10.1093/ntr/nts004
  91. abcAfrican Tobacco Alliance, Sale of Single Sticks of Cigarettes Africa, March 2018
  92. J.F. Thrasher, V. Villalobos et al, Consumption of single cigarettes and quitting behavior: A longitudinal analysis of Mexican smokers, BMC Public Health,2011 Feb 25:11:134, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-134
  93. Z.D. Sheikh, J.R. Branston et al, Tobacco industry pricing strategies for single cigarettes and multistick packs after excise tax increases in Colombia, Tobacco Control, 2023 Dec 13;33(1):59-66, doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2022-057333
  94. B. Ezeamalu, Tobacco industry still selling cigarettes in single sticks in Nigeria, other African countries – Report, Premium Times, 7 March 2018, accessed April 2018
  95. Framework Convention Alliance, shadow report on the implementation of the framework convention on tobacco control (fctc) articles 5.3, 6 & 13 in Nigeria, May 2018
  96. abBritish American Tobacco, Responsible Marketing and Underage Access Prevention practices, website, undated, accessed February 2024
  97. British American Tobacco, Youth smoking prevention, undated, accessed March 2017
  98. British American Tobacco, Tackling the issue of underage smoking, The Grocer, 15 August 2022, accessed March 2024
  99. Action on Smoking and Health, You’ve Got to be Kidding: How BAT Promotes its Brands to Young People Around the World, 2007, accessed June 2014
  100. M. Chapman, New Products, Old Tricks? Concerns Big Tobacco is Targeting Youngsters, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 21 February 2021, accessed March 2024
  101. M. Chapman, Big Tobacco Firms Advertising on School’s Doorsteps, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 31 May 2022, accessed March 2024
  102. S. Braun et al., Tobacco industry targeting youth in Argentina, Tobacco Control, 2008;17(2):111-7
  103. E. Crosbie, J. Hartman, B. Tran, S. Bialous, Promoting healthier options? Inside the branding of light cigarettes and targeting youth in BrazilGlobal Public Health, 2022, 17:9, 1913-1923, doi: 10.1080/17441692.2021.2003840
  104. Tobacco giant ‘breaks youth code’, BBC NEWS, June 2008, accessed March 2024
  105. F. Ashall, My experience with British American Tobacco’s illegal and unhealthy advertising in Ethiopia, supported by Ethiopian authorities, The Great Tobacco Plague: A doctor’s experience of the horrors of tobacco, website, 25 October 2015, accessed March 2024
  106. R. Horton, Offline: A plague rises in Ethiopia, The Lancet, comment, Vol 382 November 2, 2013
  107. abcA. Landman, P.M. Ling and S.A. Glantz, Tobacco Industry Youth Smoking Prevention Programs: Protecting the Industry and Hurting Tobacco Control, Am J Public Health, 2002 June; 92(6): 917–930, doi:10.2105/ajph.92.6.917
  108. M. Wakefield, Y. Terry-McElrath, Effect of Televised, Tobacco Company–Funded Smoking Prevention Advertising on Youth Smoking-Related Beliefs, Intentions, and Behavior, Am J Public Health, 2006 December; 96(12): 2154–2160, doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.083352
  109. abJ. Hoek, Informed choice and the nanny state: learning from the tobacco industry, Public Health, 2015 Aug;129(8):1038-45, doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2015.03.009
  110. G. Fooks, A. Glimore, J. Collin et al, The Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility: Techniques of Neutralization, Stakeholder Management and Political CSR, J Bus Ethics, 2013 Jan;112(2):283-299, doi: 10.1007/s10551-012-1250-5
  111. Philip Morris International, Philip Morris International: Integrated report 2019, website, undated, accessed March 2024
  112. STOP, Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index, 2019
  113. British American Tobacco, Battle of the Minds, website, undated, accessed April 2024
  114. CRAFT, Battle of Minds: A BAT Tactic to Entrap the Youth, website, June 2022, accessed April 2024
  115. African Tobacco Control Alliance, “Battle of Minds”, British American Tobacco’s new tactic to invade Africa, website, 22 June 2022, accessed April 2024
  116. World Health Organization, Model Policy for Agencies of The United Nations System on Preventing Tobacco Industry Interference, 26 February 2021
  117. Y. Eijk, S.A. Bialous, S. Glantz, The Tobacco Industry and Children’s Rights, American Academy for Pediatrics, 2018 May; 141(5): e20174106, doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-4106
  118. WHO FCTC, Guidelines for implementation of Article 5.3, 1 January 2013
  119. World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, 2023 Global Progress Report, website, 9 February 2022, accessed March 2024
  120. B. Grant-Braham, J. Britton, Motor racing, tobacco company sponsorship, barcodes and alibi marketing, Tobacco Control, 2012 Nov 1;21(6):529-35, doi: 10.1136/tc.2011.043448
  121. STOP, Driving Addiction: Tobacco Sponsorship in Formula One, August 2021
  122. abcdSTOP, Driving Addiction: F1, Netflix and Cigarette Company Advertising, 2023. Available from
  123. Formula 1 announces TV, race attendance and digital audience figures for 2021, Formula 1, 17 February 2022, accessed April 2024
  124. Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control, Big Tobacco’s Revival of Sports Advertising: Deceptive Marketing to Lure Youth to Addiction, fact sheet, 2021
  125. W. Ralston, How Drive to Survive turbo-charged Formula 1, gq-magazine, 23 February 2024, accessed April 2024
  126. abWorld Health Organization, WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2023
  127. abP.A. McDaniel, S.R. Forsyth, Exploiting the “video game craze”: A case study of the tobacco industry’s use of video games as a marketing tool, PLoS One, 2019; 14(7): e0220407, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220407
  128. abcVital Strategies, Tobacco Industry Uses Metaverse, Advergames, NFTs To Target Youth and Skirt Advertising Regulations, 9 November 2023
  129. Vital Strategies, The Next Frontier in Tobacco Marketing: The Metaverse, NFTs, Advergames and More, November 2023
  130. P. Patel, C. Okechukwu et al, Bringing ‘Light, Life and Happiness’: British American Tobacco and musicsponsorship in sub-Saharan Africa, Third World Q., 2009; 30(4): 685–700, doi: 10.1080/01436590902867110
  131. abP. Astuti, B. Freeman, Tobacco company in Indonesia skirts regulation, uses music concerts and social media for marketing, The Conversation, Website, 31 July 2018, accessed April 2024
  132. Top designers’ functions sponsored by cigarette company, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 August 2002, accessed April 2024
  133. Redazoine, IQOS Master Style: a call by Vogue Talents, Vogue Italia, 8 June 2017, accessed April 2024
  134. J. Doward, Ditch tobacco sponsors, health experts warn cultural institutions, The Guardian, 30 April 2016, accessed April 2024
  135. FIFA, The Football Landscape, website, undated, accessed April 2024
  136. abcD. Simpson, New analysis, Tobacco Control, 2010;19:263-266, doi: 10.1136/tc.2010.038653
  137. European Fan Association, Fan of the Future, August 2020
  138. D. Meier, Where Can Advertisers Aim for Younger World Cup Viewers?, Videoweek, 22 November 2022, accessed April 2024
  139. abM. Assunta, BAT flouts tobacco-free World Cup policy, Tobacco Control, 2002 Sep; 11(3): 277–278, doi: 10.1136/tc.11.3.277
  140. K. Maguire, Tobacco giant sidesteps ban on World Cup ads, The Guardian, 23 May 2002, accessed 2024
  141. S. Anderson, Qatar World Cup is Hijacked to Advertise Tobacco, Health Policy Watch, 27 March 2023, accessed April 2024
  142. Vital Strategies, Tobacco Marketing and Football: A Losing Game, March 2023, accessed April 2024
  143. UK Government, Prime Minister to create ‘smokefree generation’ by ending cigarette sales to those born on or after 1 January 2009, news, October 2023, accessed April 2024.
  144. UK Department of Health and Social Care, Stopping the start: our new plan to create a smokefree generation, Policy paper, October 2023. Available from
  145. UK Department of Health and Social Care, Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping: your views, Consultation, October 2023, accessed April 2024
  146. G. Hartwell, AB. Gilmore, M C I . van Schalkwyk, M. McKee M, Sunak’s smoke-free generation: spare a thought for the tobacco industryBMJ, 2023; 383 :p2922, doi:10.1136/bmj.p2922