Tiny Cigarette Packages Getting Huge Criticism - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Tiny Cigarette Packages Getting Huge Criticism

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A new pretty-in-pink cigarette is causing quite a controversy. Virginia Slims Superslims come in a pink lipstick-size pack. Critics argue the tobacco industry is targeting young girls with the feminine, fashionable cigarettes.

The Virginia Slims jingle still rings true - "A modern cigarette for a modern woman", especially with its latest product. Two dozen cigarettes come inside an attractive pink box no larger than a lipstick case. The menthols come in teal. It's packaging that even has a former smoker reconsidering.

"I wish they made these back then, I could have been cooler," Scripps Ranch resident Cindy Stephan said.

But a product that's being marketed to young hip women may also be sending the wrong message to young, impressionable girls. That's what more than two dozen health and women's groups, including the American Cancer Society, are claiming. They're written to Philip Morris, the nation's largest cigarette maker, demanding they stop sales of the Superslims.

Some San Diego State students can see why. Brandi Bell thinks it's not only the packaging, but the size of the cigarettes themselves, that could get teenagers hooked.

"I smoked those when I was a teenager because they were so petite," Bell said.

But Philip Morris says the Superslims are nothing new. They've sold them before, and the packaging - well, that's just marketing. Those selling the "purse packs" agree.

"The company that makes them, Philip Morris, advertises on TV against smoking so I highly doubt that's what they're targeting," Par Liquor owner Rocky Faridal said.

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