Toward Reducing Youth Exposure to Tobacco Messages: Examining the Breadth of Brand and Nonbrand Communications
Department of Marketing and Advertising, School of Business, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut 06518, USA. Journal of Health Communication
(Impact Factor: 1.61).
09/2004; 9(5):461-79. DOI: 10.1080/10810730490504288
Young people cannot escape prosmoking messages in today's society. From magazine advertisements to billboards to promotional products to storefronts, the pervasive landscape of tobacco-related communications is unavoidable. Despite increased restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotion in recent decades, including the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), tobacco companies continue to employ an extensive array of marketing communications practices that can reach youth. Moreover, minors encounter tobacco messages not only from branded sources (those paid for by the tobacco firms), but also through nonbranded sources, such as smoking portrayals on television and in films and prosmoking websites. In this article, we critically examine the myriad and far-reaching tobacco messages that young people face. Although tobacco company marketing that can reach minors has undergone much research and public scrutiny, the combined impact of those messages along with nonbrand messages that positively portray smoking has received much less attention. Since all messages communicate, not just branded ones, it is important to examine the breadth of tobacco communications to which young people are exposed. We close by offering recommendations both for reducing youth exposure to protobacco communications and enhancing anti-youth-smoking efforts.
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