When Pink Becomes Deadly: Virginia Slims' New, Pink "Purse Pack"

Virginia Slims new, pink "purse pack"Philip Morris (PM) hopes to make cigarettes even more appealing to women by introducing a new, pink "purse pack" of its Virginia Slims brand in the first quarter of 2009. The sleek, rectangular packs will have square ends and be designed to hold the smaller-diameter, "light" and "ultra light" cigarettes the company traditionally targets toward female smokers. PM announced the introduction of its pink Virginia Slims during October, which, ironically, is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Medical Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids are all protesting the pink pack, saying its rollout demonstrates that PM "is not the changed, responsible company it claims to be," and that it "shows contempt for women and their health by putting a pink gloss on a product that causes lung cancer and heart disease, two of the leading killers of women."


Interesting that the American Cancer Society and Heart Association object to this. Do they also object to using very slender models and the whole "slim" theme. As Jean Kilbourne pointed out in her video "Slim Hopes" for decades the tobacco industry has been overtly and then subtly equating smoking as weight control. Studies show many women are afraid to quit smoking because they will gain weight. I wonder why that has never gotten the attention of the above two associations? Perhaps because they both sold out to special interests like pharma who profit from disease. Yes, this packaging stinks, but it is just window dressing compared to the far more serious and deadly tactics they use.

If one just sits back and thinks about it, the mind just boggles, as it looks like someone out there has lost the plot.

Just picture this - a women you fancy somewhat for her feminine charms pulls out a pink little packet of something. At first you're intrigued, but then horrified and totally put-off as she proceeds to pull out a fag, light it and puffs away. Somehow I do not feel as enamoured as before to give her that first kiss anymore.

How they can link femininity to smoking and make people think it to be appealing is beyond me.

Sure they are cute, super cute even but at this point smoking has become such a no no that I doubt it will make a difference. Smoking isn't cool or edgy anymore its just gross and unhealthy. I used to smoke and now even I'm horrified when someone says they smoke. I think this might appeal to college girls or regular women who will have the occasional cigarette when they are drinking especially the ultra lights but I doubt anyone will start smoking just because its cute and girly. Gum companies should market cute girly pink purse packs like that, now that I'd buy.