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
Source: PubMed


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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    • "It is now established that tobacco advertising leads to smoking in youth [3-5]. Incidental pro-tobacco imagery on the Internet, in film and magazines is also increasingly linked to youth smoking [23-26]. Such messages shape social values about smoking and create environments where cigarettes are considered normal [24,25], and sports marketing campaigns not related to tobacco can potentially contribute to this process especially when the sport in question is popular [27]. "
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    ABSTRACT: How youth perceive marketing messages in sports is poorly understood. We evaluated whether youth perceive that the imagery of a specific sports marketing advertisement contained smoking-related messages. Twenty grade 7 to 11 classes (397 students) from two high schools in Montréal, Canada were recruited to participate in a cluster randomised single-blind controlled trial. Classes were randomly allocated to either a NIKE advertisement containing the phrase 'LIGHT IT UP' (n = 205) or to a neutral advertisement with smoking imagery reduced and the phrase replaced by 'GO FOR IT' (n = 192). The NIKE logo was removed from both advertisements. Students responded in class to a questionnaire asking open-ended questions about their perception of the messages in the ad. Reports relating to the appearance and text of the ad, and the product being promoted were evaluated. Relative to the neutral ad, more students reported that the phrase 'LIGHT IT UP' was smoking-related (37.6% vs. 0.5%) and that other parts of the ad resembled smoking-related products (50.7% vs. 10.4%). The relative risk of students reporting that the NIKE ad promoted cigarettes was 4.41 (95% confidence interval: 2.64-7.36; P < 0.001). The unbranded imagery of an advertisement in a specific campaign aimed at promoting NIKE hockey products appears to have contained smoking-related messages. This particular marketing campaign may have promoted smoking. This suggests that the regulation of marketing to youth may need to be more tightly controlled.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · BMC Pediatrics
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    • "locations in their daily lives. Anti-tobacco campaigns are not as extensive and are intended to counter the effects of pro-tobacco marketing and social influences to smoke (Lee et al., 2004). Therefore, it is important to study the direct and interactive effects of both types of tobacco-related media over time on smoking susceptibility in adolescents. "
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2006 · Nicotine & Tobacco Research

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