The tobacco industry has faced numerous fierce attacks pertaining to laws regarding to their operation. The government of USA is concerned with ensuring the industry is streamlined to match up modern trends and guarantee the safety of the consumers, who use tobacco. The traditional way of dealing with tobacco products and the consumer has changed in almost all countries. The previous generations were affected by the slackened rules and regulations governing the manufacture, promotion, distribution, and sale of tobacco products. Therefore, the enactment of new laws was very important to ensure certain thing fell in their rightful place. Some of the differences between the older generation and the current one regarding the tobacco product include:
The rules of the older generation did not pay much attention to the health of the consumer. This is the reason why most of the tobacco products then did not bear the characteristics of the product on the face of the packet they were contained in. This, therefore, deprived the user of an opportunity to know the dangers behind smoking of tobacco products. Majority of them continued smoking oblivious that they were putting their lives at stake (Canada Parliament, 57).
The laws of the older generation also did not regulate consumption of tobacco products among young people. This was very important because young people were continuously going into tobacco smoking since there were no restrictions. Newer rules, however, dictate that promotions, for example, should not be done on the face of young people. This would be like seeking to promote the consumption of the products among the young people, while various stakeholders were against this.
Advertisements were not being regulated by the older generation’s rules. This situation had no place in the rules of the current generation, which called to an end sponsorship of events, such as sports among young people.
Some of the competing firms in the USA are American Snuff Company and American Tobacco Company. Both of these companies manufacture and sell tobacco products. It was, therefore, expected that after enacting the laws, there would be greater competition for the lesser consumer market. It, thus, occurred that both of these companies experienced lesser sales in the short run, though this changed in the long run owing to other techniques of marketing employed by the competing firms. The companies, for example, increased their targeting female adults, who initially were not regular consumers of their products. This helped to boost the profit margin. The competing firms also laid out workers and took advantage of current technology. This helped the companies reduce the level of expenses, hence reasonable profits.
The tobacco, report released in 2006, showed a continuous reduction in the number of cigarette smokers over the years. This was of course due to the regulations that had been put by the government to safeguard the health of the people and to reduce consumption of tobacco products among the young people significantly.
A reduction in sales levels also occurred due to increased taxation by the federal government of taxes levied to the companies producing tobacco products. This has made the cost of the products go high and, therefore, discouraged consumption.
Reduction in sales levels can also be explained by increased awareness that is being spread by health agencies and the government of the Unite States of America. Such awareness emphasizes the dangers that cigarette smoking has on the individual’s health, e.g. causing cancer. This discourages consumers from taking the products.
The Canadian Tobacco Act of 1997.
This act was enacted to regulate the production, process of labeling, sale, and promotion of tobacco products in Canada. The Tobacco Act had a great effect on the advertisements of tobacco products. The act required that any company wishing to advertise tobacco products to its customers should promote them through a publication, which would be delivered to the adult directly through mail. The publication also had to have adult readership of not less than 85%. This actually was set to have a great extent of control on the audience. There was a concern that a lot of people under the age of 18 were engaging in the consumption of tobacco. Some of the reasons behind this were improper advertising strategies, such that the advertisements fell on the hands and ears of the wrong persons. This brought in an influx of young smokers and was, thus, against the wish of various stakeholders, such as the parents and the government. There was, therefore, great need for transformation.
The regulations also restricted the publications to be done in places where young people could access. This only gave room for publications to be done in bars and taverns, as opposed to the initial process where promotions were done everywhere: on the media, newspapers, and even in the streets. This also reduced chances of young productive school children from coming across adverts that related to consumption of tobacco products, and as such was protection to them in a very direct way. The young people were in this regard given a chance to engage in more constructive assignments, such as their personal development, and not just consumption of tobacco.
The actual brand characteristics of the product were also required by the law to be displayed effectively. This called to stop the initial lifestyle advertising that attempted to display products to consumers in a way that was not serious. Brand characteristics are important since they depict what the product comprises. In this regard, it was important for the industry to clearly highlight them to the consumers so that they did not consume the products and then claim they were ignorant about the characteristics. One characteristic of tobacco products is that they have a harmful effect. This had to be communicated, very clearly in fact, according to the new law. It also acted as a form of disclaimer to any particular individual who might want to sue the company for any harmful effects he or she has experienced out of his or her smoking habits.
The law also put a stop to tobacco companies trying to convince young people of the desirability of their product. Previously, tobacco companies were associating the products with a lot of excitement, fun, glamour, relaxation, daring attitude, and sexual attractiveness. This saw a number of young people trudging into the smoking affair not considering they were putting their lives at stake. They wanted to experience what they had seen on advertisements, and, thus, the law came in at a time when it was extremely important for regulation measures to be fully implemented. This is in Section 22 of the Act (Frank, 78).
Section 22 of the Act also made it illegal for tobacco companies to depict, in whole or in part, any tobacco product, its package, and brand that could evoke a brand or product. This was necessary so as to protect ignorant young people from the dangers of smoking, an activity, which pleasurably engaged in oblivious of what was ahead of them.
Section 24 of the Act made it illegal for tobacco companies to sponsor youth activities or events. This was because sponsoring the events was a gesture that smoking among young people was an encouraged engagement, which it happened not to be. In this regard, the companies were not supposed to promote in any way activities relating to the youth and their events.
Initially, tobacco companies were allowed to sponsor sporting events, art, theatre, and other cultural events. The amendments to the Tobacco Act, however, placed some form of restrictions on this by making it illegal for the companies to engage in sponsorship activities of this kind. This was because majority of these activities incorporated the young people. Smoking among young people was being discouraged at all costs to pave way for a generation that should be responsible and would sustain responsible parenthood in the future. Sponsoring the activities of the young people was more or less a way of encouraging continuous consumption of the products, hence it had to be discouraged at all costs. There was, however, an allowance to give time to the organizations receiving initial support to adjust. It included:
Events supported by tobacco companies before April 1997 were to continue enjoying this support for a 5 year transition period. Tobacco companies could continue featuring promotional materials at the place where the events were taking place during this period.
Limitations on sponsorship promotions off site would still be implemented gradually. Tobacco brand names would however be confined to the bottom 10% of any surface of display of promotion. It would also be limited to direct mailing to adults and sites where adults were found, such as bars and taverns. This limited the access that young people initially had on promotional materials, some of which coaxed them into the process of smoking. The promotions and sponsorship activities were supposed to end at the end of the 5 year period.
Sale of accessories.
The sale of accessories bearing brand names of tobacco products was also affected by the Act. These accessories were to be sold to adults only according to Section 26 of the Act.
The Act also required from manufacturers not to have a brand name on products that were common to young people and which would appeal to them. This was because having the brand name on the products was a gesture of encouraging consumption of tobacco products among young people.
Branded non-tobacco products were not supposed to be given out free at any point in time. These had either to be sold directly or given to boost the image of the company to customers after they had already purchased the products. These are known as freebies in other words.
Section 30 of the Act allowed retailers to display branded tobacco products and accessories. It also gave a chance to the company to display signs, which showed the availability of these products (Jocelyn, 141).
Section 18 of the Act did not influence the use of tobacco products in movies, literature and theatre arts, it was irregular for these entertainment industries to use tobacco product in the course of acting. The only condition was that tobacco companies did not pay for the inclusion of these products in the movie, film, or show. The tobacco companies were not supposed to have campaigns or ads from foreign media to their promotion advantage if they contravened the Canadian Tobacco Act. This was according to Section 31 of the Act.
Tobacco companies in the USA have been thoroughly affected by various acts. The intention of this, however, is to protect the citizens and especially the young people, who have otherwise been encrypted in the vice of tobacco smoking.