Cigarette marketing methods exposed

The "chilling" methods used by tobacco companies to market cigarettes have been laid bare as thousands of previously confidential papers were published on the Internet.

The database - - includes 14,000 pages of evidence looking at the inner workings of the tobacco industry.

The papers were used to help develop Cancer Research UK's Death Repackaged advertising campaign which highlighted how brand and marketing strategies may mislead smokers about the health benefits of "light" and "mild" products.

The Commons Health Committee demanded that the documents be supplied by the industry's top five UK advertising agencies as part of their public review.

Cancer Research UK's Centre for Tobacco Control Research at the University of Strathclyde has now constructed the database, with funding from NHS Health Scotland, to make the papers freely available to the public.

David Hinchliffe MP, chairman of the Health Committee, said: "These papers show what the tobacco industry thinks of its consumers in its own words.

"It's pretty damning.

"Tobacco is one of the major threats to the UK's public health - so it's fascinating and quite chilling to see how tobacco is marketed."

Professor Gerard Hastings, director of the Cancer Research UK Centre for Tobacco Control Research, added: "This evidence is unique in Europe. It will cast a public light on the internal workings of the tobacco industry and help open its practices up to public scrutiny."

Prof Hastings used the evidence in his report "Keep Smiling. No One's Going to Die" which showed how commercial success and failure to deal with the public health consequences of smoking drove the tobacco industry.

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