Travelling through South and Central America in 2005 I often saw fresh-faced, attractive, very young people handing out free cigarettes. In Guatemala I even saw free cigarettes available on the counters of convenience stores.
Be sure you do not own any stock in tobacco companies.
Big Tobacco Is Accused of Crossing an Age Line
By GREG WINTER, NY Times, 2001
Sara Bogdani had just turned 17 last summer when she slipped into a short skirt and started working as a Marlboro girl.
While the rest of her high school friends spent their vacation laboring in
restaurants or lounging at home, Sara donned a red hat, a T-shirt with a
cowboy on the back and a knapsack full of Marlboros and other Philip
Then she hit the streets of Tirana, the capital of Albania and her
hometown, offering a smile and a free pack to anyone who professed a love
of smoking and looked, well, almost as old as she was.
“As long as they weren’t 14 or something, it was O.K.,” Sara said in a
telephone interview, noting that a co-worker was also 17. As for her
bosses, “they were just glad if you gave out all the cigarettes,” said
Sara, who now works with an antismoking group.
Just as it is in the United States, giving cigarettes to teenagers is
illegal in many countries, including Albania, where Marlboro girls stroll
the streets. But while the practice has all but disappeared from American
cities, it goes on with striking regularity in many developing nations,
and Philip Morris is far from the only tobacco company that the World
Health Organization has accused of crossing the line in trying to entice
those underage with free cigarettes. …
Enticing Third World Youth; Big Tobacco Is Accused Of Crossing an Age Line – Free Preview – The New York Times