R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, the second largest cigarette company in the United States sought for decades to reverse the declining sales of its brands by developing aggressive marketing proposals to reach adolescents as young as 14 years old. The public release of company documents from the period 1973 to 1990 contrast sharply with the company's declarations that it does not target young people. In 1974 company executives were discussing the need to re-orientate the company's focus to young people, identifying young people as the future smokers market. A 1975 memo says that "to ensure increased and long term growth for Camel Filter, the brand must increase its share penetration among the 14-24 age group." In 1988 R.J. Reynolds introduced its Joe Camel cartoon advertising campaign which was criticized at the time by anti-smokers as a direct appeal to young people.
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