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Perceptions of tobacco advertising and marketing that might lead to smoking initiation among Chinese high school girls
  1. Michael G Ho1,
  2. Yu Shi2,
  3. Shaojun Ma2,
  4. Thomas E Novotny3
  1. 1University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
  2. 2Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China
  3. 3University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Thomas E Novotny
 Box 1390, 530 Parnassus Avenue, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-1390, USA; novotnyt{at}

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More than 320 million of China’s 1.3 billion people are smokers (66.9% of all men and 4.2% of all women ⩾15 years old).1 Although Chinese men have been the subject of considerable research,2–4 little is known about smoking initiation among women. Our preliminary tobacco document research suggests significant female market segmentation and brand development by transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) in China. To understand the influence of these factors, we conducted a pilot study on susceptibility among young women in Beijing.

We assembled five focus groups of high school girls aged 16–19 years (n = 27) during summer 2006. After obtaining informed consent, a trained, female medical student conducted focus groups to ascertain knowledge, attitudes, behaviours, beliefs and intentions to smoke. Thirteen subjects reported smoking experience (smoked 100 lifetime cigarettes or smoked …

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  • Funding: This project was funded by the UCSF School of Medicine Dean’s Office Research Grant.

  • Competing interests: none.