Seems the tobacco industry is stretching gift-giving a little longer this year by sending their users specials, according to the January 2015 updates from Trinkets and Trash.
You thought Christmas was over?, well, think again my friend. Skoal is providing their users with a “can cooler” attached to a carabiner. Instead of developing that tell-tale can outline in your back pocket, now you can attach the can to your belt loop. Sort of like wearing a fanny pack for your smokeless tobacco habit. Skoal does show its concern for users by attaching a health warning to the carabiner, but that is easily removed. Too bad the warning isn’t printed directly on the can holder so you see the reminder each and every time you open the cooler to pack a lip. If having a koozie isn’t your idea of a gift, Copenhagen is sending you a set of four carpenter pencils engraved with your initials which arrives in a discrete black box for your birthday. Nothing like getting a gift, opening it and seeing the words “WARNING: This product can cause mouth cancer.” Engraved pencils in exchange for mouth cancer. Some gift.
Some brands of smokeless have also gone paperless, providing virtual coupons sent directly to user’s mobile devices. Skoal and Copenhagen are on board and making it easier for dippers to never forget a coupon. The Skoal ad claims “We’re always looking for ways to make a dipper’s day better.” Will they be there when the dipper runs into health issues because of their addictive product? This virtual coupon also makes it easier for kids to hide their habit from the parental units as the paper offers won’t show up in the mailbox. Not to be outdone, Marlboro is also going the virtual route. No more waiting at the mailbox.
The tobacco industry realizes that throwing a few coupons and an occasional gift your way may not keep you as a loyal user, so they also design sweepstakes where you have to log in continually to be eligible. Marlboro has their “Hot Streak” contest, which actually sounds pretty lame, but requires you to log in every day. You may not win, but you will get a $15 movie coupon just for playing. We’re guessing quitting to win good health isn’t as appealing to some people. Parliament has their “In Code” sweepstakes where those on the “inner circle” mailing list can win concert tickets. And Camel is encouraging people to try something new in 2015 with their “Inspired to Act” project. Quitting smoking probably isn’t on their list of things they want their users to be inspired to do.
Electronic nicotine delivery systems (vaporizes, e-cigarettes, etc) are also out with their offers. blu e-cigarettes now has a rewards program to earn points and trade points for gifts so you can use their products and provide them with free advertising. NJOY wants you to “help a loved one make the switch” and save yourself some money. Think of all the money you and your loved one will save if you quit using these products! If you purchase one of their Kings products, you can get 2-free. Both the blu and NJOY products do not show any health warnings on the advertising page. In one ad, Mark 10 offers you free cartridges for your e-vapor device and a very detailed warning label that goes beyond what is normally seen. Sort of makes you wonder why they would even sell a product that is so dangerous it requires such a warning, but they are covering all their bases for future litigation purposes.
While you are thinking about all these great offers, here’s something else to think about: “tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States.” And while you are taking a moment to let that sink in, think about this: almost 70% of smokers want to quit. If a product is that good, why would so many users want to stop using it? With everything you already know about tobacco, why would anyone want to start?
Information for this blog and all images came from Trinkets & Trash Surveillance Update – January, 2015.