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Report of the Tobacco Policy Research Study Group on Tobacco Marketing and Promotion
  1. Kenneth E Warner,
  2. Judy Butler,
  3. K Michael Cummings,
  4. Carol D’Onofrio,
  5. Ronald M Davis,
  6. Brian Flay,
  7. Martha McKinney,
  8. Matthew L Myers,
  9. Michael Pertschuk,
  10. Robert G Robinson,
  11. Linda Ryden,
  12. Michael Schudson,
  13. Joe Tye,
  14. Judith Wilkenfeld
  1. Department of Public Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. Advocacy Institute, Washington, DC
  3. Cancer Control and Epidemiology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York
  4. University of California, Berkeley, California
  5. Michigan Department of Public Health, Lansing, Michigan
  6. Prevention Research Center, Chicago, Illinois
  7. Health Resources and Services Administration / Bureau of Health Resources Development, Rockville, Maryland
  8. Asbill, Junkin and Myers, Chtd, and the Coalition on Smoking or Health, Washington, DC
  9. Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, Pennsylvania
  10. University of California, San Diego, California
  11. Stop Teenage Addiction to Tobacco, Springfield, Massachusetts
  12. Division of Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC
  1. Correspondence to Professor Kenneth E Warner, Department of Public Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1420 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029, USA.

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In this report a distinction is drawn between two categories of marketing and promotion activities. The first and most familiar category includes activities typically denoted by “advertising and promotion”, entailing tobacco company efforts targeted directly at tobacco consumers or prospective consumers and intended to encourage tobacco use (either initiation or maintenance, and either brand specific or brand neutral smoking).

The second category of activities consists of tobacco companies’ promotion efforts directed at groups of people or influential individuals and intended to promote a social and political environment more supportive of, or less hostile toward, tobacco consumption and marketing. This includes a wide range of organisational support from industry – example, to the arts, charities, and political organisations – “public interest” advertising, and political (financial) support of legislators.1

The distinction between these two categories is not rigid. For example, tobacco company sponsorship of sporting events serves both purposes – direct advertising to consumers and potential consumers, and the development of institutional “loyalty” to the tobacco industry -with the anticipated political ramifications such support may produce. Nevertheless, most marketing and promotion activities by industry can be readily differentiated. Because the working group deemed the “environmental support” activities to be fundamentally different from direct to consumer advertising and promotion, and because each category is believed to be critically important, the working group agreed that it would consider only direct to consumer advertising and promotion in this report. A review of knowledge and policy research needs related to “environmental support” promotional activities was undertaken by a separate task force (Study Group on Marketing and Promotions Targeted at African Americans, Latinos, and Women); their conclusions are contained in a separate paper in this supplement (p S24).


Two recent major publications have reviewed the evidence pertaining to the effects of cigarette advertising and promotion, as …

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