Smokefree Homes and Families
Cigarette Advertising Controversies

This page provides a forum for debate over restriction of cigarette ads, especially ads geared to young people.

An Ad-erage Day in the Life of a Kid - How tobacco ads incluence kids.

Health Group Gives ELLE Magazine 'Poison Apple Award' - For Offering Young Female Readers Prettily Packaged Death in 'ELLE Cigarette Case'

A Major Research Study Study Links Advertising To Adolescent Smoking

When young people in California were studied, researchers found that tobacco company advertising was a far greater motivator for teenage smoking than either peer pressure or family influence on whether some adolescents take up smoking, according to a study of California youths. According to the survey, a teenager who does not smoke who is very aware of the advertising is twice as likely to become a smoker than is another teenager who lives in a smoking family but is not aware of the advertising. According to the survey authors, this challenges the claim by tobacco companies that social factors rather than marketing are the key components of a young person's decision to smoke.

The Oct. 18, 1995 Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of the survey conducted jointly by researchers at Indiana University-Bloomington and the University of California at San Diego. 3,536 adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had never smoked were studied.

Peer pressure and family influence were still important factors, however. If a teenager's best friend smoked the susceptibility rating (the willingness to try cigarettes) rose by 90 percent. The study also found that the younger the adolescent, the more susceptible to taking up smoking he or she was. Students who rated their performance in school as average or below average were at greater risk of smoking than those with better views of themselves as academic achievers.


Ray Fichaud-CBC Television-Montreal, Quebec writes: I am a Canadian journalist looking for info on the Australian experience with restriction of advertising by Tobacco companies in that country. I would like to know whether it had any serious effects on events such as the Australian Grand Prix, regional or national festivals of the arts, that sort of thing. Information on the restrictions themselves would also be appreciated.


Joe Adams M.D. writes: I am President of Smoke Free Maryland. We have great fun in Maryland kicking butt - and we have the tobacco industry on the run. I find this to be the most gratifying - and most effective - way to help people on a massive scale. Any negative publicity you can get for these tobacco cartels and tobacco lobbyists - the better. What we're really fighting is a public relations war, and our enemy knows it. When we let the public know (in the media) that the tobacco cartel/lobbyists are actually working behind the scenes to promote smoking (especially among kids), we move closer to the day that the FDA will be allowed to exert some limitation over advertising aimed at children. Right now the proposed FDA regulation is one of the greatest public health issues of the century (!!), and we'll determine - we're living through a moment of public health history that will determine the fate of hundreds of thousands of Americans. The tobacco industry intend to use their awsome political power and resources to get congress to prevent the FDA regulation. One of the things we did in Maryland is to have state lawmakers sign a pledge not to take money or gifts from the tobacco industry or their subsidiaries. Thirty eight of them signed, we had a press conference, it was well covered in the news, and it was a major victory - one successful battle in the overall war. We have plenty of other similar projects going on as well!


Frank Stasio writes: Do you know where I can find graphic illustrations of the dangers of smoking? I teach media literacy and radio production radio production to middle and high school students in the District of Columbia. Soon, we will be talking about the power of advertising and the dangers of drinking and smoking. I would like to contrast seductive magazine ads with graphic examples of the real effects of smoking. I am looking for striking graphic images such as autopsy photos or other pictures that clearly show the damage done by smoking. Thank you.


Lauren writes: Dear Sir, I saw your web page on the internet. I am working on the project regarding lung cancer and wanted some information on how to put together an effective message for the young people regarding smoking and lung cancer. Especially, November is the lung cancer month. Many young people get influence from the advertising: smoking associated with nice body, beautiful girl and peer pressure. If you have any information, please send to my e. mail. Thanks


Jorgen H. Poulsen writes: Dear Elliot: I'm trying to write a paper about whether Tobacco Advertising should be banned from an ethical point of view. Can you help me with www-sites where I can download information about this issue. This is not a paper about whether smoking is harmful or not but as I mentioned whether advertising of the product is unethical. Thank you in advance.


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