Disturbing: Cigarette Company Targeted Its Advertising In The Chareidi Sector

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A new study carried out by Hebrew University revealed that the Philip Morris tobacco company published a far higher percentage of ads in the Chareidi sector than other minority populations in Israel.

According to the data that was published on Thursday morning by Kan News, since the IQOS heated tobacco products entered the Israeli market, Phillip Morris published 216 advertisements targeting certain populations – 55% were targeted at the Chareidi sector, 6% at the Arab sector and the rest at the Russian-speaking population.

In addition, from December 2016 to August 2020, Phillip Morris published 561 ads for standard cigarettes targeting specific populations – 87% in the Chareidi sector, 4.3% in the Arab sector, and the remainder in the Russian-speaking population.

Dr. Yael Bar-Zeev, chairwoman of The Israeli College of Physicians for Smoking Prevention and Cessation, stated that according to the findings of the study, tobacco companies are violating Israeli law (“the Ban on Advertising and Restrictions on Marketing Law”) by spending huge sums of money in order to attract additional target audiences. Bar Ze’ev added that it is known from international studies that tobacco companies direct their advertising specifically to low socioeconomic populations, which significantly contributes to the inequality of health of these populations.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. One needs to remember that smoking has a significant benefit, especially for families with children. The smoker almost always survives until the children are grown, and the individual is ready for retirement. Due to the effects of smoking, instead of the person consuming their assets in old age, the assets get passed along earlier to the children who in our community will be young adults raising children and paying tuition.

    While there are other ways to get the same result (e.g. encouraging adults in late middle age to take up new hobbies, such as free-fall skydiving or touristing in Ukraine), smoking does have a good macroeconomic effect, especially compared to other vices such as alcohol or marijuana in which the impairment is immediate (which is bad, since it impairs young people, unlike tobacco where the impairment generally occurs only later in life).

    One should note that Bnei Torah should be discouraged from smoking since they have a very critical role to play in helping in the education of their grandchildren’s generation, and women should especially be discouraged from smoking since grandmothers are quite useful in a macroeconomic sense.

  2. This whole topic rests on a giant lie. Anyone who knows anything about marketing will tell you the basic fact, established by reams of research and not disputed by anyone, is that — with the exception of new products — advertising does not and cannot cause anyone to buy something they don’t want. Nobody in the advertising industry even tries to do such a thing, because they know it doesn’t work. If a person is aware of a product’s existence, and doesn’t want it, no amount of advertising will persuade him otherwise.

    The purpose, the only purpose, of advertising old products is to influence consumers to change brands. If you’re already in the market for a car, you will pay attention to car advertising and that will influence which car you buy. But if you’re not in the market you ignore the ads, or enjoy them, but they will have no influence on you.

    New products are different, because many people would want it if only they knew it existed. The only reason they’re not buying it already is that they’ve never heard of it. So you have to advertise to them and bring out their already-existing desire that they were not aware of.

    But for old products you can’t create a desire that doesn’t exist. Therefore it is a simple fact that nobody has ever taken up smoking because of advertising. People start smoking, usually as children or young teenagers, because their friends smoke; being so young they’re stupid and reckless and take all kinds of stupid risks, compared to which smoking is a smaller risk than many others they take.

    And that is why advertising is crucial; smokers are extremely loyal to their favorite brands, and reluctant to change, so the best time for a company to gain new customers is when they first decide to start smoking and are looking around for a brand. Without advertising they will smoke what they know best — either what their friends are smoking, or the best-known brands. That is why the biggest brands are all in favor of laws against advertising; they benefit from such bans, because they’re already well known, they have large market share, and if nobody else can advertise they don’t have to. It’s the smaller brands that have to advertise, and they have to do it where new smokers will see it before they become attached to one of the big brands. So the laws against advertising discriminate against them.

    Charedim are unfortunately a population with a high percentage of smokers, so it makes sense to advertise to them. That is all.

  3. In 1940’s before studies showed that cigarettes caused cancer, tobacco companies recruited the medical community for their ads: “9 of 10 doctos recommend Camel..” etc.

    Nowadays it’s with a mislabeled injectable pharma product with governments doing a good chunck of the marketing. As far as blatant advertised lies, nothing has really changed, except the higher degree of Chutzpa .
    סוף דבר הכל נשמע

  4. Milhouse, ads can normalize a product or an activity, such as a barrage of ads for casinos and lotteries will entice someone who normally doesn’t gamble to partake or to at least try it out.

    (The same is when we are flooded with non-tznius activities, it normalizes it and sends a message that “everyone is doing it” so why not join the crowd?)

    You mention ads for cars wouldn’t influence someone to buy one – maybe because it requires a huge sum of money that most people don’t have, but for many people, it certainly creates a desire to own such a car.

    Ads for toys influence adults and children to buy that toy. Ads for vacations plant a thought of going to that destination…the same for cigarettes.

  5. Jesse Jackson has been making the same accusation against tobacco companies for years, saying they target African Americans. I think he and the Hebrew University study are both correct.

  6. Milhouse:
    This makes no sense.
    If you don’t know anything about smoking, including its dangers, and see an ad promoting it, then, of course, you could decide to try it based on the ad.

  7. Milhouse, that is just wrong. The whole idea of marketing is to attract more buyers. Whatever that takes. The more you are exposed to something the more normalized it becomes that is for better and for worse. The more success a company sees within a targeted audience, the more they will invest in advertising within that demographic. The fact that they heavily advertise to the chareidi community just means they have a willing audience. Instead of screaming like victims, maybe we should be proactive and focus on increasing advertisements and education (ahem nyt) within our community that shows the horrific effects of smoking.

  8. They should rip down these advertisements with the same passion they rip down other signs.

    A bunch of Shkatzim for falling prey to these advertisements.

    Smoking is an Issur Deoraysa (Shmor meod et nafshotechem) so falling prey to these advertisements is equivalent to falling prey to a pro LGBT advertising.

    They deserve the side effects of smoking 🥱