Tobacco Advertisements Boost Teens' Smoking Desires

March 11th, 2010 00:00
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The more the adolescents see advertisements of smoking products, the more likely they are to start smoking.

A recent research demonstrates that the certain content of tobacco advertisements affects minors and the colorful images they see in the ads captivates their interest, despite adolescents are usually less receptive to the marketing seduction other products impose.

Mark Kerschner, the author of the research and head of the Institute for Therapy and Health Research, based in Germany stated that cigarette industry has developed a certain brand that corresponds with each human character trait.

“If one is willing to be independent, self-confident and attractive, he thinks about the brave Marlboro cowboy,” admitted the scientist who worked together with research team of Dartmouth Medical School. He cited Virginia Slims for projecting a look of modern ambitious women and L&M that is selected by those who are eager to have true friends.

Children who see tobacco products advertisements frequently were two times more likely to have lighted up at least once in their life and the majority of them have smoked in the past three months, in comparison to their peers who were less exposed to seeing tobacco ads. In addition, being exposed to cigarette ads was as well related with a higher likelihood of taking up smoking in the future among those who currently do not smoke, highlighting that teenagers could be get lured by the vivid advertisements long before they begin smoking.

The research that can be found online and is published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine is significant for many countries, which implemented restrictions on tobacco advertisements.

The research was based on a nationwide survey of nearly 3,500 teenagers across Germany aged 10-17. The participants were shown the images (with all names and logos previously removed) of six advertisements of tobacco products and 8 ads of other products like candy, vehicles and mobile phones.

While the name of each particular brand was absent, scientists estimated teenagers’ recognition of commercials by using psychological assumptions concerning memory and concentration. They asked the participants how often they have seen every image and then inquired about the chances of taking up smoking.

Prof. Kerschner said the research team was quite surprised at how frequently the teenagers has viewed the imaged and identified the correct brand of tobacco products. He cited 55 percent of respondents had viewed image of Marlboro brand and at least 25 percent of them recognized the brand.
Upon studying the collected data, the scientists estimated the likelihood of nonsmokers taking up cigarettes after seeing the advertisements. The scientists divided participants into two groups: non-smokers and smokers. Teenagers who tried smoking at least 5 times were classified as smokers.

By Sara Norton, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

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