April tobacco news from Trinkets and Trash

Trinkets and Trash is a surveillance project that lets subscribers see the latest in tobacco industry marketing from all forms of media.  Their emails highlight the ads and contests used during the previous month on tobacco and vaping sites.

Just in time for Earth Day 2018 in April, Malboro and Natural American Spirit cigarettes remind smokers to properly dispose of their cigarette litter.  Natural American Spirit has a weekly trivia challenge on their website to learn more about cigarette litter, and users can collect “virtual cigarette butts” by answering the trivia questions correctly.  Can you imagine how much cleaner the world would be if all those users actually went out and collected real cigarette butts?  For those who actually do want to help clean up butts, you can request a butt pouch to help you with the job, because a regular plastic bag isn’t good enough.

When just any menthol cigarettes won’t do, Newport’s are getting fancy with new Platinum menthols.  Newport offers users the PayDay Scratch Off sweepstakes.  Just visit their site daily to scratch off a virtual lottery card for a chance to win prizes from $25 to $500.  After all that hard work scratching off virtual cards, go to their “Fresh Take Studio” to make songs from pre-programmed drum, bass, keyboard, guitar and accent loops which you can enter for more prizes with weekly grand prizes of a $6,000 concert get-away.

Black and Mild had their own sweepstakes going where you could pick one of two prizes to instantly win.  The first week’s contest featured “Fire Pits and Friends” scene “where the rich aroma of a campfire and a Black and Mild hang in the air.”  And if you don’t like that smell in the air, there is a $10,000 grand prize, because “there’s nothing like the smell of money.”  That’s probably what the tobacco industry says each time a product is purchased.

Juul was just cited by the FDA for under aged youth using their products.  And in April, the same month they were contacted by the FDA, a post on their Facebook page “directed users to the brand’s website where they can email up to 10 friends (who are adult smokers, er, vapers…cough…cough) to receive $15 off their first Juul purchase.  That would cut the cost almost in half, making your first purchase to a lifelong addiction more affordable. Each successful referral gets a $15 site credit.  Blu electronic cigarettes also has a reward program to get users to convince their friends to start vaping.  It will be interesting to see if the FDA knew/knows about this.

With all this virtual stuff on their websites, it sort of makes you wonder why tobacco and vaping users just don’t “virtually” smoke.  It would save them a lot of money and would protect their health.  Of course, the tobacco industry probably wouldn’t see it that way, but it is worth a try.

Click HERE to see the April edition of Trinkets and Trash


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