Advertising of tobacco `sinister'

 

The Minister for Youth Affairs, Mr Willie O'Dea, yesterday described tobacco advertisements in glossy women's magazines as "sinister". He was commenting on a study carried out by the London-based Cancer Research Campaign which confirmed that many teenage girls persist with smoking out of fear of gaining weight.

Mr O'Dea said: "Placing images of beautiful models side by side with advertisements for cigarettes is grossly irresponsible, because it promotes a dangerous perception of smoking among young girls by linking it with slim, sexy and glamorous people."

He added: "The creation of associations between smoking and certain images desirable to young girls in this manner is very sinister and is being done in a very focused and projected way."

Mr O'Dea said that he would be asking the Minister for Health, Mr Cowen, to ensure that the EU directive banning all advertisements for tobacco products on a phased basis was enacted into Irish law as quickly as possible.