Tobacco coupons: How low can they go?
Coupons are one of the tobacco industry’s top marketing strategies. From 2013 to 2014, the industry doubled its annual investment in coupons, which together with discounts make up more than 86 percent of its entire marketing expenditure in one year.
While the Surgeon General recommends a pack price of $10, the average pack price in the United States is about $6 per pack. It isn’t hard to see why Big Tobacco invests so much in slashing prices: the smoking rate is almost three times higher among households earning less than $20,000 a year compared to those earning more than $100,000 a year. Coupons and discounts threaten to counteract the impact of tobacco taxes and raising the price of tobacco products, which is one of the most effective ways to drive down the smoking rate, especially among young people.
While tobacco marketing restrictions implemented over the years, like those in the Master Settlement Agreement, have resulted in changes to some of Big Tobacco’s marketing practices, coupons have survived. Here, a selection of recent coupons reveals how the industry drops pack prices to as low as $1 or $2, uses buy-one-get-one promotions and offers sweepstakes and other giveaways with coupons.
Read more about how tobacco disproportionately affects the low-income community and why tobacco is a social justice issue.
*Images courtesy www.trinketsandtrash.org.