October 21, 2008 - Gallaher's (owned by Japan Tobacco International) Silk Cut cigarttes will next month launch in the United Kingdom a range of "Superslims", which will be sold in "perfume-shaped" boxes designed to appeal to image-conscious women. Deborah Arnott, director of the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), "Silk Cut is using the terminology 'super slim' to make the link between smoking their product and losing weight."
Many tobacco companies have tried to forge a link between smoking and slimness. The first ad which emphasized the "benefits" of smoking for weight control was brought out in the late 1920s, with the slogan Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.
The popular US brand Virginia Slims hammers the message home with varieties Virginia Slims Super Slims Lights and Virginia Slims Super Slims Ultra Lights.
In early 2009 the Philip Morris Tobacco company will also launch sleek pink "Purse Packs" aimed at women.
Silk Cut's new marketing ploy is just the latest device that tobacco companies are using to appeal to women. Newly released industry documents show tobacco firms paid huge amounts for endorsements from the stars of Hollywood's "Golden Age".
Reference: Tobacco firms target teenage girls with 'super slim' products cigarettes
Charities accuse companies of exploiting young women's fears about weight by Rachel Shields, 10/19/2008.
Japan Tobacco International (parent of Gallaher) and Imperial Tobacco, dominate the UK tobacco market with an 80% share by value. British American Tobacco (BAT) is the world's second-largest cigarette company and is increasingly focused on fast-growing developing markets rather than advanced economies where smoking is in decline. BAT has a 5% share of the UK market largely through its Rothmans brand. (Research and Markets: Examine the Challenges and Opportunities for the Cigarettes & Tobacco Market as Companies Focus on Developing Markets as Demand Falls in Developed Countries Market Watch - Wall Street Journal, 10/21/2008.)