President Obama recently signed a bill allowing the FDA to regulate tobacco companies as aggressively as ever. Reducing teenagers’ use of tobacco is the primary purpose of this bill. Obama, a smoker himself, wants to end the sales pitch to children. He states, “The kids today don’t just start smoking for no reason. They’re aggressively targeted as customers by the tobacco industry. They’re exposed to a constant and insidious barrage of advertising where they live, where they learn, and where they play. Most insidiously, they are offered products with flavorings that mask the taste of tobacco and make it even more tempting…” Obama empathizes with teenagers since he was once one of those teenagers that started smoking early on and is now struggling to quit.
Now, how does this relate to promotional items you ask? Well, part of the bill bans tobacco companies from imprinting their logo on promotional items as well as at sporting or entertainment venues. The bill also bans the usage of terms like “low,” “light” and “mild” on packaging. Tobacco companies will also have to submit the ingredients used to the FDA and include stronger warning labels on packages.
Let’s read between the lines. Why would the government ban tobacco company logos on promotional items such as clothing? The reason is promotional products with imprinted logos have a powerful effect on people. We’ve illustrated this point throughout this blog and most recently in the blog entry about promotional items and their impact on Doctors. The Government was fully aware of how powerful a tobacco company logo can be on children especially with how prevalent advertising is nowadays especially on the Internet.
We’re glad the President has put a stop to the promotion of something that endangers our society. Of course we endorse the use of promotional items, but not when they’re used to promote a product or cause that is harmful. As Sen. Edward Kennedy stated, this was “long overdue.”