Current marketing practices by the tobacco industry may be contributing to the increased rates of smoking among children. Every day some tobacco users die or quit smoking, but they are replaced by new smokers, most of whom are adolescents. The fact that adolescents smoke the most highly advertised brands indicates that they are responsive to these marketing campaigns.
- 70% of young people are receptive to tobacco advertising.
- The tobacco industry's advertising and promotional products are filled with messages and images that reflect the qualities teenagers value, such as popularity, independence, sexiness and 'coolness'. The marketing approaches imply that these qualities can be achieved by using their tobacco products.
- Tobacco promotional items, such as lighters, allow teenagers to take on the identity of a smoker.
- There is a strong linkage between tobacco promotional activities and uptake of smoking among adolescents.
- Brand loyalty is usually established with a child's first cigarette. Children related making their brand selection to the influences of advertising, free sampling, promotional items, package design, and the implied health benefits of low tar and nicotine cigarettes.
- The likelihood of smoking is increased when an adolescent acquires a cigarette promotional item and decreases if the item is lost.
- Large promotional pushes by cigarette marketers have been linked with increased levels of daily smoking among adolescents.
- Substantial evidence shows that tobacco advertising plays an important role in encouraging young people to begin this lifelong addiction before they are old enough to fully appreciate its long-term health risks.
- The increased emphasis on promotional activities and point of sale advertising, particularly in convenience food stores and milkbars, exposes even very young children to the advertising message whilst they purchase sweets, ice-creams and soft drinks.
- Tobacco marketing is a stronger influence in encouraging adolescents to initiate the smoking uptake process than peer, family or other social influences.
- The most recent studies clearly conclude that partial advertising bans have little impact on overall cigarette smoking given that the industry can simply shift expenditures on advertising in the banned media to other advertising and promotional activities. Comprehensive bans on advertising and promotion, however, are found to significantly reduce the overall smoking.
- There is clear evidence that children's attention is attracted by cigarette advertising and that they remember it. A comprehensive ban would have the largest impact on youth and young adult smoking.
- James Sargent et al. Effect of Cigarette promotions on Smoking Uptake among Adolescents Preventative Medicine 30, 320-327 (2000).
- Ellen Feighery et al, Seeing, wanting owning: the relationship between receptivity to tobacco marketing and smoking susceptibility in young people, Tobacco Control 1998; 7:123-128.
- DiFranza et al, Tobacco acquisition and cigarette brand selection among youth Tobacco Control 1994; 3: 334-338.
- William Redmond, Effects of Sales Promotion among U.S. Ninth graders, Preventative Medicine 28, 243-250 (1999).
- John Pierce et al. Smoking Initiation by Adolescent Girls, 1994 Through 1988: An Association With Targeted Advertising Journal of the American Medical Association February 1994 - Vol 271, No. 8.
- John Pierce et al. Influence of Tobacco Marketing and Exposure to Smokers on Adolescent Susceptibility to Smoking Journal of the National Cancer Institute Vol. 87, No. 20, October 18, 1995.