Big Tobacco Targeting Minority Communities

Over the past several decades, tobacco companies have strategically marketed tobacco products to appeal to minority and low-income communities.

These companies use targeted advertising techniques, such as Tobacco the brands “Rio” and “Dorado” that heavily advertise to the Hispanic-American community (CDC). Specifically, the industry markets menthol cigarettes to African-American community, who overwhelming favors this type of cigarette. They target the Latino industry because they tend to be more brand-loyal. Lastly, the tobacco industry markets products to the Asian community with messages about Western values, which appeals to people trying to fit in to American mainstream culture (Tobacco Free).

Another marketing technique Big Tobacco uses is placing advertising in publications and venues that are popular for black audiences.

For example, a 2011 review concluded that Ebony magazine was almost 10 times more likely than People magazine to contain an advertisement for menthol cigarettes. The marketing is so pervasive, that a 2013 study found that black children were three times more likely to recognize advertisements for Newport, the most popular menthol brand among that group, than other children” (Truth Initiative)

Not only do tobacco companies market to minority communities but they also have more retailers existing in areas with larger black, Hispanic/Latino, and low-income populations. Hispanic neighborhood have more retailers and smoke shops than areas with more white residents. These retailers focus on in store advertising, discounts, and product display that target minority communities and poorer cities. (Truth Initiative).

Lastly, tobacco companies have also sponsored multi-cultural events. Such as, Mexican rodeos, American Indian powwows, Chinese New Year, Cinco De Mayo, and Heritage Month events to increase the use of tobacco (Truth Initiative).

For more information on how Tobacco Companies are targeting minority communities check out

Allegra Consulting has been a full-service, award-winning communications and outreach firm for the past twenty years and counting and has consistently stayed at the forefront in forward-thinking brand management. We are passionate about our local communities and plan to continue to educate as many communities as we can. Contact Allegra Consulting today if you need assistance on your next community outreach project!