How YSL is promoting 'sophisticated' own-label cigarettes in Asia and Russia by Tamara Abraham
Tobacco advertising is banned in the U.S. and Europe, and smoking indoors is against the law in many of the world's major cities. But in fashion, it appears, the habit is still as fashionable as ever.
Cancer risk seems to be of little concern to Yves Saint
The cigarettes, which come in a sleek black box with gold foil, are being marketed towards women in Asia and Russia.
They are accompanied by an advertisement featuring a model that looks uncannily like Kate Moss, who came under fierce criticism when she smoked on the Louis Vuitton catwalk earlier this year.
Online retailers, which sell the cigarettes for up to $44 per 200-cigarette pack, reveal that the product first launched in 1989.
Promotional script tells prospective buyers that the label's 'philosophy is to give their cigarettes a classic sophisticated look.'
It continues: 'Creating a sense of appeal to female vanity and thereby making the woman who chose to smoke Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes more attractive than one who smokes another brand or more attractive than a woman who did not smoke at all.'
Uncomfortable message: A model that looks uncannily like Kate Moss appears in a promotional image for the cigarettes
The message is an uncomfortable one for countries like the UK and the U.S., where the governments invest heavily in anti-smoking messages in order to help prevent the huge number of deaths each year caused by tobacco.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health said that Yves Saint Laurent should be ashamed of itself.
She told MailOnline: 'Since the advertising ban preventing any advertising promotion or sponsorship by tobacco companies came into force smoking amongst young people has dropped by a third.
'We won’t see Yves St Laurent cigarettes on sale here, as tobacco companies are banned from using brandsharing to promote smoking in the UK, or anywhere in Europe.
'Sadly in Russia and many parts of Asia young people are not yet protected from such tobacco industry tactics, and glamorous brands like YSL can be used to suck them into an addiction that will lead to death and disability.
'YSL should be ashamed of itself.'
Research from the American Lung Association reveals that more than 430,000 people in the U.S. die every year from smoking-related diseases, including those who have heart attacks.
And according to Cancer Research UK, more than a quarter (28 per cent) of all cancer deaths in Britain are caused by smoking.
It added that tobacco is behind around 90 per cent of lung cancer deaths in men and more than 80 per cent of lung cancer deaths in women in the UK.
Yves Saint Laurent, who died in 2008, famously named a 1966 tuxedo for women Le Smoking. It is a design that continues to influence fashion today.
YSL follows in the footsteps of Cartier and Pierre Cardin, which have also given tobacco firms permission to use their logo.