Facts on Big Tobacco


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The tobacco industry keeps
spending to hook new smokers.

  • The tobacco industry spends
    about $12.8 billion a year—$35
    million each day—to promote their
    products.
  • In Maine, the portion of the total
    spent promoting tobacco is more
    than $59 million annually.

The tobacco industry targets children.

  • Teens are more likely to be influenced
    to smoke by cigarette advertising than
    they are by peer pressure.
  • Kids are more than twice as
    likely as adults to recall tobacco
    advertising (28% of all adults recalled
    seeing tobacco ads, while 53%
    of kids aged 12 to 17 reported seeing
    tobacco ads.)
  • Adolescents who own a tobacco
    promotional item, and can name
    a cigarette brand whose advertising
    attracted their attention, are twice
    as likely to become established
    smokers than those who did neither.
  • As much as a third of all youth who experiment with
    smoking do so because of effective tobacco industry
    marketing.
  • Kids who use these smokeless products are more likely
    to smoke cigarettes within four years.
  • Nearly 80% of all smokers begin smoking before age
    18—almost none start as an adult.

Big Tobacco: The verdict is… GUILTY.

August 17, 2006 – US District Judge Gladys Kesseler issued a federal opinion in the federal government’s lawsuit against major tobacco companies. It was found that the tobacco companies (the defendants):

  • violated civil racketeering laws.
  • defrauded the American public by lying over decades about the health risks of tobacco.
  • did market to children.
  • continue to deceive the public by “recruiting new smokers (the majority of whom are under the age of 18), preventing current smokers from quitting, and thereby sustaining the industry.”

June 28, 2010 – the Supreme Court announced that it would not accept an appeal by tobacco companies to overturn the 2006 civil racketeering judgment.

Maine youth are using tobacco.

  • 18% of Maine high school students smoke—that’s over 12,000 children. The middle school smoking rate is 6%.
  • 27,000 Maine kids (currently under age 18) will die earlier than expected due to tobacco use.
  • Cigar smoking is also on the rise. 14.9% of Maine high school youth report having smoked cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars.
  • Social smoking among youth and young adults is increasing. The federal CDC defines social smoking as “some day smokers” because they claim to only smoke while hanging out with friends, socializing, etc.

© Healthy Maine Partnerships, Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine. All Rights Reserved.