Virginia slims cigarette dating codes

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But the packaging, the appearance, and other aspects of the “brand imaging” are something else.

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One of the striking features of the mass marketing of a great number of consumer products in the past twenty years is the increasing blandness of the taste that has been built into these products.And the close contact a smoker maintains with his cigarettes—a pack-a-day smoker reaches for the pack twenty times a day, picks up a cigarette when he’s tense, habitually handles and puffs at it while he’s making the decisions that his working day calls for, and continues puffing away hour upon hour in his free time—makes the cigarette he uses enough a part of his living style so that distinctive packaging and appearance provide a marked identity to the particular brands a merchandiser is promoting aside from its actual taste.A brand manager at one of the big tobacco companies told me recently, not without pride, “What we’re selling is illusion.” In the age of commercial television, the number of major brands of cigarettes on the market has grown from half a dozen to almost thirty, in all shapes and sizes; by 1968, filter cigarettes, which at the beginning of commercial television had accounted for one and a half per cent of the cigarette market, accounted for perhaps seventy-five per cent.This ban is the principal result of the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, which was passed by both houses of Congress last spring for the purpose of protecting smokers from being exposed, over public airwaves, to advertisements for a product that the Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service has declared to be hazardous to health. It was passed in spite of massive pressure that had been brought to bear against it, and against the regulation of cigarette advertising generally, by the tobacco industry, the broadcasting industry, and their lobbyists and political allies.This was a combination that for years had proved itself invincible against a counterforce of scientists and public-health and public-interest advocates who, armed with formidable statistics on the damage to health and life caused by cigarette smoking, had sought to protect consumers by requiring all cigarette advertising to provide adequate warnings of these dangers.

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