Australians spend more on cigarettes than in 13 years and influential people in social networks could be the culprits.
It has been decades since cigarette ads were banned, but Big Tobacco seems to be circumventing Australian laws.
Anti-tobacco advocates are warning that Big Tobacco may be on the way to reappearing, as last year consumers spent $ 15.95 billion on cigarettes alone.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that this number increased by $ 180 million compared to the previous fiscal year, and was the largest increase in spending since 2005.
Influencers, like Natasha Carter (pictured, left) were invited to events launched in Australia by Malboro, and tagged #Marlboroevent in the title
The hashtags that are used often do not imply that they advertise cigarettes, these girls used #MarlboroEvent
The increase comes after a two-year investigation by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids on 40 countries, including Australia, Triple J. reported.
It states that cigarette companies organize events and encourage "influential" young people to post on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with specific hashtags.
The study found more than 100 campaigns on the social networks of tobacco companies such as Philip Morris, Imperial Brands and Japan Tobacco International.
A petition was filed with the US Federal Trade Commission last week that found the companies were incorporating "the same marketing tactics they used in the United States for decades to attract children and youth."
However, the difference is that social networks are used to address young people since the limits are unlimited.
The 100 campaigns of social networks have gathered 25 billion visits worldwide.
The president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the co-author of the report, Matthew Myers, told Hack that Big Tobacco blatantly used social media to advertise.
Although the influencers do not publish blatant advertising, the integration of cigarettes in their publications is much more subtle (in the photo, influencer polpettadiriso)
Natasha Carter also posted this image on Instagram with the hashtag #MarlboroCrossover
"We found evidence of major campaigns on social media, clearly targeting young people in at least 40 countries, we found examples of at least two campaigns that started in Australia," he said.
Anti-tobacco advertising laws in Australia indicate that corporations face a fine of $ 126,000 if they advertise smoking products and people can face a $ 25,000 fine.
Although the influencers do not publish blatant advertising, the integration of cigarettes in their publications is much more subtle.
Tobacco companies encourage the use of cigarettes in blogs with gifts, exclusive events and parties on a global scale.
"We started seeing a series of events, we organized parties that attracted young people, where young people were given free cigarettes, they were often given alcohol and free gifts," Myers said.
The hashtags that are used frequently do not imply that cigarettes are announced, for example #coadventure, #redroom, #youdecide (user of the social networks in the photo vikievarelli1)
The tobacco companies encourage the use of cigarettes in blogs with gifts, exclusive events and parties worldwide
It was also discovered that tobacco companies paid influential people to publish content related to their products (in the photo, an event of a tobacco company).
Then it was expected that the influencers would publish on social networks and present the product or talk a lot about the product.
The study found that at least two parties organized by cigarette brands were held in Australia and were attended by influential social networks.
It was also discovered that tobacco companies paid influencers to publish content related to their products.
The hashtags that are used often do not imply that cigarettes are announced, for example #coadventure, #redroom, #youdecide, they were common use hashtags.
The influencers were given specific summaries, and in a campaign for Lucky Strike in Italy, they were told to cover the health warning labels on the cigarette packaging.
"So what they're doing is associating cigarettes with the lifestyle that a young person would want," Myers said.
The influencers were given specific instructions, and in a campaign for Lucky Strike in Italy (pictured), they were told to cover the health warning labels on the cigarette packaging.