Monday 14 April 2014

Stop press: Business complies with regulation

From Stan Glantz's heavily moderated blog...

Important empirical evidence that tobacco companies are successfully flaunting [sic] the ban on promoting light and mild cigarettes

Greg Connolly and Hillel Alpert recently [actually March 2013 - CJS] published an important paper in Tobacco Control, "Has the tobacco industry evaded the FDA's ban on ‘Light’ cigarette descriptors?," that presents empirical evidence that the ciagrette [sic] companies have effectively nullified the ban on selling cigarettes with the misleading descriptors "light" and "mild" that are in both the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and Judge Gladys Kessler's RICO decision.

The great professor means 'flouting', not 'flaunting' - a mistake that any idiot could make. The 'study' he refers to made the mundane and obvious observation that the companies have done as they are told and removed terms such as 'light' and 'mild' from their packs.

Results Manufacturers substituted “Gold” for “Light” and “Silver” for “Ultra-light” in the names of Marlboro sub-brands, and “Blue”, “Gold”, and “Silver” for banned descriptors in sub-brand names. 

Since 'gold' and 'silver' and 'red' and 'blue' do not convey any message of reduced risk, they are 100 per cent compliant with the law. These are intrinsically different products and smokers can tell the difference between them. Quite reasonably, therefore, they have a preference for one over the other.

Following the ban, 92% of smokers reported they could easily identify their usual brands, and 68% correctly named the package colour associated with their usual brand [only 68%?! - CJS], while sales for “Lights” cigarettes remained unchanged.

The horror! Was the point of this regulation to make it difficult for smokers to 'easily identify their usual brand'? Was the intention to make smokers of light cigarettes switch to stronger cigarettes?

No, the point was to stop cigarette companies implying that one brand is less hazardous than another. Of course people can still remember what Marlboro Gold used to be called. Short of brainwashing the entire population, that was entirely predictable. The industry is guilty of nothing more than complying with a law that was written by its enemies. Get over it, Stan and stop flouting flaunting your ignorance.

1 comment:

Jean Granville said...

You need a "study" published as a "paper" by a "journal" to tell Marlboro ligth have become gold?

Maybe it is misleading if Glantz thought that Marlboro "gold" were actually made of gold.