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Camel No. 9 sounds pretty, but it's not


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Slick packaging, pretty colors and rosy images reach out to female consumers from the pages of a magazine. Their allure is not unusual for businesses seeking to attract customers. But in this case, the image is a mirage and the purchases could be deadly to any woman who doesn't read between the lines.

You see, the product advertised is a brand of cigarettes.

From Vogue to Glamour, Cosmopolitan to Elle, their slick approach is deceiving. There's nothing glamorous about lung cancer, a proven consequence of cigarette smoking.

Women members of the Indiana Senate, like those in the U.S. Congress, have united to condemn this practice.

While cigarette companies are subtle in their approach, they have aggressive intentions. The industry spends an estimated $239 million annually for marketing in Indiana alone. They need to find replacement smokers, because their loyal customers are dying every day.

This is especially true in Indiana, which has the second-highest adult smoking rate in the nation. Did you know that 9,700 Hoosiers die from tobacco use each year?

Twenty-five percent of Hoosier women smoke; 4,125 die each year.

Thirty percent of Hoosier high school girls smoke and nine of 10 begin before age 19.

Indiana spends $778.6 million annually for women with smoking-related illness. In addition, Hoosiers pay $13 million in federal taxes each year to cover Indiana's share of Social Security Supplementary Income payments to children who have lost a mother to smoking.

Sen. Beverly Gard is a survivor of breast cancer. She can tell you about the physical and emotional tolls cancer brings -- information you won't find in the fancy new magazine ads. It might surprise you to know more Hoosier women die from lung cancer than breast cancer.

During this year's legislative session, all women in the Indiana Senate -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- supported the Indiana Check-Up plan, including a component that discourages smoking and offers help to those who want to quit.

Now, a bipartisan group of 10 women senators is uniting again, condemning these advertisements and urging Indiana magazines to reject them.

According to reports, R.J. Reynolds is spending an estimated $25 million to $50 million on advertising campaigns to introduce its new women's version of Camel No. 9 -- sounding more like a perfume than a cigarette. As everyone knows, smoking cigarettes has the opposite effect of spraying on perfume.

It's time we told cigarette companies and the magazines catering to them that the lives of women across this state and nation can't be bought. Colorful packaging can't hide the true darkness of cigarettes.

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some states have Demographics on File for Lung Cancer an all types of Cancer. Type in Demographics and "State Name here" in the search bar and wait and see what comes up.

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