August 05, 2004
I saw the article about this and found it so disgusting. Yes many things, many products, media ect have used the people, symbols and culture of Hawaii to make a profit. This is going too far. Like our Governor, Ms. Lingle and the mayor Brian Baptiste of Kauaii said, in taking Hawaii a place and symbol of health, healing and naturalness and slapping its names and images on cigarrettes, then flavoring these things so kids will like them is too much and it needs to stop. Here is an article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin on the issue.
Lingle condemns marketing of Kauai Kolada cigarettes
By Jaymes Song Associated Press
The tobacco giant forced to retire Joe Camel from its ad campaigns is coming under fire in Hawaii for using an island's name and the image of a hula girl to promote a new line of cigarettes.
Outrage over Camel's "Kauai Kolada" cigarettes -- which feature "Hawaiian hints of pineapple and coconut" and are only being sold this summer -- goes as high as the state's top executive.
"Using the name of Kauai and Hawaii images to market cigarettes to young people is disgusting," Gov. Linda Lingle said in an e-mail to the Associated Press yesterday. "This entire marketing campaign is offensive to the people of our state."
Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste had equally harsh words regarding the ad for Camel, a brand of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
"I am appalled that this company has chosen to use the Kauai name to market a product that kills," he said. "The word 'Kauai' is not just the name of our home. It is representative of our culture and our community.
"The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has used part of our identity to sell this harmful product, an action to which I am vehemently opposed."
Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, said she sent a letter to R.J. Reynolds asking them not to place any further ads. "They haven't responded and, frankly, I don't expect a response," she said.
Kauai Kolada is being marketed along with "Twista Lime" -- another summertime flavor -- in publications nationwide. The ad features an island beauty in a grass skirt leisurely lying on two packs of cigarettes -- a coconut drink in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other.
The governor, a former smoker who quit 20 years ago, said the tobacco companies are "preying on our youth by enticing them with flavored cigarettes, and getting them addicted at a very young age."
R.J. Reynolds denied the claims.
"We feel it is an adult product and it is also a legal product," said Ellen Wallace, spokeswoman for the tobacco company. "I certainly regret ... those feelings toward cigarette products, but again, there are an awful lot of people across the country who have found tremendous enjoyment out of our exotic blends."
Deborah Zysman, director of Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii, which represents more than 50 anti-tobacco groups, said she is concerned that colorful ads and "candy-flavored" cigarettes attract new, younger smokers.
"All the agencies are saddened and discouraged by RJR and many other tobacco companies' efforts to continue to, what we feel, is addict our young people," she said. "This newest tactic definitely hits home especially because they are using Hawaii in the ads."
R.J. Reynolds has faced similar accusations before.
In the 1990s, the Federal Trade Commission accused the company of targeting children in its ad campaigns using the popular Joe Camel cartoon character. The lawsuit was dismissed after the landmark 1998 settlement between states and tobacco companies, which included provisions banning cartoon characters from cigarette ads.
Kauai Kolada and Twista Lime were introduced in early June and will only be manufactured for eight weeks as part of RJR's limited-edition summer blends line that began last year.
Star-Bulletin reporter Anthony Sommer contributed to this report.
Tobacco-Free Kauai tobaccofreekauai.com
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. www.rjrt.com/home.asp
My father became addicted to tobacco at the age of 14, and smoked willingly and unwillingly for the rest of his life. He died a horrible painful death. I think that this is a narcotic and should be regulated as such. To market this drug, targeting young people should be a crime.
It is thought that 20% of the residents of the state of Hawaii smoke. As a demographic, these are people in the lowest 1/3 of economic status and have less access to health care. Frankly, Im glad that the governor stepped up to the plate as new smokers are a drain on our taxed health care delivery system. With our high incedence of type II diabetes, cardio vascular problems, in this group, its vital that we do what ever we can to help people quit.
Smoking is a problem that we as a nation need to deal with. We need to deal with our dependence on tobacco taxes for revenue and look for ways to end tobacco growing as a cash crop. Its bad for people, terrible on soils, depleating them for nutrients and a poor crop to be growing. It has no redeeming value. We shouldnt grow it shouldnt export it to other countries to help kill off their populations. That is a form of terrorism that we practice against other nations.