Cigarette companies: Is there anything they won’t do?

According to the Daily Telegraph, cigarette companies in the UK are paying attractive students to smoke in public, as a way of stimulating sales.

The students get £25 per hour (about $35) to dress up in fashionable clothes (provided by the cigarette company), hang out in the trendiest bars and clubs, and be seen smoking. They’re encouraged to buy people drinks, offer them cigarettes, and leave packs lying around when they leave.

Because this counts as “promotional activity” rather than “advertising”, it isn’t subject to any of the legal restrictions on tobacco advertising. In particular, they can target people of any age.

Free samples are apparently illegal in the USA, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find cigarette companies here paying attractive people to smoke in public…