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Receptivity to cigarette and tobacco control messages and adolescent smoking initiation
  1. Kristen T Emory1,
  2. Karen Messer1,
  3. Lisa Vera1,
  4. Norma Ojeda2,
  5. John P Elder3,
  6. Paula Usita3,
  7. John P Pierce1
  1. 1Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Moores UCSD Cancer Center, La Jolla, California, USA
  2. 2Department of Sociology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA
  3. 3San Diego State University, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr John P Pierce, Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Moores UCSD Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, 3855 Health Sciences Drive, 0901, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA; jppierce{at}


Background Tobacco industry cigarette advertising is associated with increased adolescent smoking, while counter tobacco advertising is associated with reduced smoking. As these campaigns compete for influence, there is a need to understand their inter-relationship on youth smoking.

Methods This study reports data from a national population of families (n=1036) with an oldest child aged 10–13 years, identified by random digit dialling. Parent and child dyads completed baseline questionnaires in 2003. Adolescents were resurveyed in 2007–2008 (response rate 74%). Adjusted logistic regression explores associations between receptivity to cigarette and tobacco control advertising and adolescent smoking initiation.

Results In 2007–2008, 57.9% of adolescents reported a favourite tobacco control advertisement and 43.3% reported being receptive to cigarette advertisements. Thirty per cent reported receptivity to cigarette and tobacco control advertisements. Among those receptive to cigarette advertising, having a favourite anti-smoking advertisement had a borderline significant association with a 30% lower smoking rate. Anti-industry tobacco control messages were three times more likely to be favourites of those who were receptive to cigarette advertising than other tobacco control advertising.

Conclusions Receptivity to tobacco control advertising appeared to ameliorate the promotion of initiation from cigarette advertising. Anti-industry advertising appears to be the most effective counter for tobacco control and should be considered for wider use. A larger longitudinal study is needed to confirm these findings.

  • Tobacco Industry
  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Priority/Special Populations
  • Prevention

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