New Players for the Old Tobacco Game: the Czech Republic and Romania; It’s Time to Change the Rules

Meyer, Susan | January 1, 1997

Cigarette and tobacco advertisements have become a part of life in the Czech Republic and Romania. In the Czech Republic, Camel cigarettes, manufactured by R.J. Reynolds, sponsored weddings in which taxis bearing the Camel logo transported guests from the wed- ding to the reception.’ In Romania, Kent cigarettes, manufactured by British and American Tobacco Company (BAT), sponsored the ex- tremely popular television show “Dallas.”3 Unfortunately, the health consequences of cigarette use, which lead to the annual death of three million people around the world,4 have also become a part of daily life. In 1995, almost 20% of the Czech Republic’s death rate, 22,000 deaths out of a total 125,000, was attributable to deaths from smoking- related illnesses.5 In Romania, an increase in the incidence of lung cancer in Bucharest was reported.6 In Eastern Europe as a whole, the projected smoking-related deaths for the decade will be three million.7