Toward reducing youth exposure to tobacco messages: examining the breadth of brand and nonbrand communications.
ABSTRACT 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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ABSTRACT: We examined the longitudinal impact of self-reported exposure to pro- and anti-tobacco media on adolescents' susceptibility to smoking, using in-school surveys from a culturally diverse sample. Ethnicity and acculturation also were examined as potential moderators. Middle-school students (N = 2,292) completed self-report questionnaires during the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Chi-square analyses were conducted to determine whether reported exposure to pro- and anti-tobacco media varied according to ethnicity, acculturation, and immigration status. Logistic regression models were used to examine whether pro- and anti-tobacco media exposure in 6th grade was associated with susceptibility to smoking by later grades. Recall of people smoking in television programs and pro-tobacco advertisements in stores was associated with adolescent smoking susceptibility. Exposure to anti-tobacco advertisements on television protected against susceptibility. No significant interaction effects between pro- and anti-tobacco media exposure on smoking susceptibility were found. Ethnicity and acculturation did not moderate these associations. Our longitudinal study provides evidence that pro-tobacco media and advertising increases susceptibility to smoking over time. More important, anti-tobacco advertisements are not sufficient to reduce the harmful effects of adolescent exposure to pro-tobacco media. Policy-level interventions such as restrictions in tobacco advertising may be necessary to prevent adolescent smoking.Nicotine & Tobacco Research 07/2006; 8(3):455-65. DOI:10.1080/14622200600670454 · 2.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We explore young children's attitudes toward, beliefs about, and life-style associations with cigarette smoking using direct and indirect measures. Second (n = 100) and fifth grade (n = 141) elementary school students (i.e. 7-8 and 10-11-year-olds) were excused from class and individually interviewed. Participants selected pictures in response to the questions: who would like to smoke cigarettes the most and who would like to smoke cigarettes the least? Their picture choices were probed using open-ended prompts designed to elicit the beliefs and life-style associations underlying their choices. Survey-based measures of attitudes and beliefs were also collected. Second graders reported life-style associations with cigarette smoking that were consistent with those of fifth graders. While their associations with smoking are generally negative, children appear to perceive that others feel that smoking makes them look cool and feel cool and also helps them to fit in. By fifth grade, many children believe that smoking can help to reduce stress and alleviate negative mood states. The presence of a smoker in the household does not appear to affect these associations, suggesting that they may be being shaped by external socialization agents. Young children appear to be developing understandings of cigarette smoking that go beyond knowing that cigarettes are products that are smoked. As some of their perceptions appear likely to predispose them for future experimentation, young children need to be included in prevention research so that age-appropriate interventions can be developed.Addiction 11/2005; 100(10):1537-45. DOI:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.01195.x · 4.60 Impact Factor