Tobacco Advertising and Teens: Study Shows Ads Increase Youth Smoking

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Exposure to tobacco ads leads to teen smoking. Image by James Alby.

Exposure to tobacco ads leads to teen smoking. Image by James Alby.

Smoking and Ads: The Implications

Both Germany and the United States have some restrictions on tobacco advertising.  Per the researchers, “Germany has banned tobacco advertisements in television, radio, newspapers and magazines, but there are still opportunities for the industry to promote their products: tobacco marketing is allowed at point of sale, on billboards and in cinemas before movies that show after 18:00.”

According to the American Lung Association, “[e]ight states and the District of Columbia place some restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotion.  Furthermore, 20 states and the District of Columbia restrict or virtually prohibit where free samples of tobacco products can be distributed to the general public.” 

Despite those restrictions, “[t]obacco products are one of the most heavily marketed consumer products in the United States.”

Tobacco Ad Policy and Teen Smoking

In an exclusive interview with Decoded Science, Dr. Morgenstern explained his opinion of policies on tobacco advertising. “Doing research is the attempt to describe (and in best case: explain) the world. This is quite independent from the question what to do with the results. This is a  political question and is based on the prioritization of interests.”

This is a political topic indeed – but the health of youth depends on a change in policy. As Dr. Morgenstern told Decoded Science, “If the health of young people has a high priority, it  definitely makes sense to completely ban tobacco advertising.” What are our priorities here in the United States?

Resources

American Lung Association. Tobacco Industry Marketing. (2013). Accessed June 13, 2013.

Morgenstern M, et al. From Never to Daily Smoking in 30 Months: The Predictive Value
of Tobacco and Non-tobacco Advertising Exposure. (2013). British Medical Journal. Accessed June 13, 2013.

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