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R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO RESPONDS TO AMA JOURNAL ACCUSATIONS

 R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO RESPONDS TO AMA JOURNAL ACCUSATIONS
 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a response by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to accusations by the Journal of the American Medical Association:
 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Response
 To Journal of American Medical Association Accusation
 -- Contrary to antismoking activists' rhetoric, it is not in the tobacco industry's best interest for youth to smoke. Whenever a young person smokes, it is the cigarette manufacturers that are blamed -- not the parents, peers or lifestyle of the young person. This concerns us greatly because it increases the potential for government restrictions on our ability to communicate with adult smokers.
 -- According to Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) numbers, 1.3 percent of 12-18 year-olds at least occasionally smoke Camels. Survey data from OSH indicate that cigarette smoking among teenagers has essentially been flat for the past few years, and that 15.7 percent of teens aged 12-18 are at least occasional smokers.
 -- The average age of Camel smokers is 35.
 -- RJR market research data indicate smokers 18 and older account for 98 percent of Camel sales -- corroborating the Office of Smoking and Health data. A maximum of 2 percent of Camel sales could, therefore, be coming from underage smokers -- not 25 percent. Nonetheless, 1.3 - 2 percent of underage smokers trying Camel is still too high, from RJR's perspective. That is why we complemented the Tobacco Institute's access-restriction efforts with an ad campaign and education program that addresses peer pressure. (Key points in the following backgrounder.)
 -- "It's the Law" signage and store materials have been provided to 150,000 retailers across the country as a key component of the tobacco Institute's campaign, launched in fall 1990, to encourage retailers to enforce minimum-age purchase laws.
 -- Camel's share performance since the Smooth Character campaign began in 1987 simply does not support the article's absurd conclusions about youth share of total sales. Camel's share of market has been basically flat for five years. (See backgrounder following for share numbers.)
 -- In July, Canadian Justice Jean Judes Chabot reviewed studies from around the world before ruling that an advertising ban will not reduce consumption of cigarettes. As a result, a Canadian cigarette ad ban was overturned. (Some comments from that decision are included in the backgrounder following.)
 -- Youth see literally hundreds of advertising messages intended for adults, but that does not mean they take action on any of them, Peer pressure and parental influence repeatedly have been cited by young people to be the main reasons they try smoking.
 -- Camel's advertising has had some success in reversing adult smokers' impression of the brand. But with only a 4 percent share of market, Camel is clearly eclipsed by much larger brands.
 -- Camel's potential customers are the 48 million adult smokers of the more than 400 competitive brands on the market.
 -0- 12/10/91
 EDITOR'S NOTE: Additional information follows in a brief backgrounder. Reporters with further questions on the Canadian advertising ban court decision may contact Dr. Ron Rotunda at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (217) 333-3459. Camel share numbers can be verified by Jack Maxwell, tobacco analyst at Wheat, First Securities (804) 782-3630. Questions about the program to discourage youth smoking should be directed to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Public Relations, 919-741-6996 or -7674.
 ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND
 -- It is curious why statistics in these articles included 18-year-olds, since 18 is the legal age for voting and for purchasing cigarettes in all but five states. No breakout is provided to indicate what share of these numbers account for 18-year-olds and how much that skews upward their underage figures.
 -- The irreverent Camel caricature, an update of the 78-year-old package design, was developed in 1987 from a 1974 French Camel campaign. Its' "Smooth Character" message refers to the product's smooth tobacco blend, and is aimed at repositioning the brand's image.
 -- Justice Chabot's decision that the tobacco ad ban in Canada was unconstitutional included the following comments:
 "The virtual totality of the scientific documents in the
 State's possession at the time the Act was passed does not
 demonstrate that a ban on advertising would affect consumption.
 ... although the Act as now drafted presents itself as
 essentially beneficent, it in fact constitutes a form of
 censorship and social engineering which is incompatible with
 the very essence of a free and democratic society.
 The state seeks to control the thoughts, beliefs and behavior of
 its citizens along the lines it considers acceptable. This
 form of paternalism or totalitarianism in unacceptable in
 a free and democratic society such as ours."
 -- Essentially stabilized, Camel's share of the U.S. cigarette market, according to published security analyst reports, has been:
 Year-end 1985 4.4
 1986 4.4
 1987 4.3
 1988 4.4 (first full year of Smooth campaign)
 1989 3.9 (A)
 1990 4.3
 thru 2Q 1991 4.1 (most recent data available)
 (A) In 1989, RJR phase out of "trade loading," an industry-wide
 practice that encourages wholesalers to stock up on
 cigarettes offered "on deal," and that artifically inflates
 share figures. As RJR phased out trade loading, its brand
 shares declined as existing inventories sold through.
 -- Reynolds Tobacco Company feels strongly that smoking is an adult activity and that young people should not smoke. The company has actively supported the Tobacco Institute "It's the Law" program and supplemented it with its own efforts.
 -- RJR sales representatives provide retailers with "It's the
 Law" kits to encourage them to enforce state minimum-age
 purchase laws.
 -- Reynolds Tobacco has launched an extensive national
 out-of-home campaign urging youth not to smoke and is offering
 parents -- particularly those who smoke themselves --
 information on how to dissuade their children from smoking.
 -- The company has also actively supported legislation to
 raise the minimum age for purchase in all states to 18 and
 to limit access to vending machines.
 -- RJR takes great pains to see that promotions are available only to adult smokers. For example, the current Camel Cash promotion "C Note" has three minimum age statements on it. A certification requiring the smokers' date of birth and signature is required to receive merchandise. The promotion also includes a strong statement warning that falsification of the form may constitute a violation of the law.
 /CONTACT: Peggy Carter, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 919-741-6996 or 7674/ CO: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; American Medical Association Journal ST: North Carolina IN: TOB SU:


CM -- CH006 -- 0967 12/10/91 11:07 EST
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Date:Dec 10, 1991
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