A content analysis of Camel Snus advertisements in print media.

David S. Timberlake, Cornelia Pechmann, Sarah Y. Tran, Vanessa Au

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Researchers have questioned whether the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is marketing Camel Snus as a product for nontobacco users, smokeless-tobacco users, or cigarette smokers. The objective of this study was to examine advertisements of Camel Snus in print media to determine the most likely audience of intent. A content analysis was conducted among Camel Snus advertisements printed in newspaper and consumer magazines between July 2007 and August 2010. The advertisements (n = 83 distinct; N = 458 total) were identified from a comprehensive search of a proprietary database maintained by TNS Media Intelligence. Results indicated that all advertisements, published between July 2007 and September 2009, were intended to promote a tobacco product for cigarette smokers. A shift in marketing strategy occurred from October 2009 to the present time with publication of the "Break Free" magazine advertisements, characterized by an ambiguous message that could conceivably appeal to any group, including nontobacco users (e.g., adolescents), smokeless-tobacco users, and/or cigarette smokers. However, an examination of the consumer magazines advertising Camel Snus indicated a demographically diverse readership in terms of gender, age, and education, suggesting that the advertisements are less likely to be intended for smokeless-tobacco users. These findings validate other reports and editorials, suggesting that Camel Snus was being marketed as a product for smokers at the time of the product's national debut. The recent shift to the "Break Free" marketing campaign may reflect an attempt to enhance the image of the Camel brand in order to attract a broader spectrum of consumers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalNicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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