Exposure to brand-specific cigarette advertising in magazines and its impact on youth smoking

Prev Med. 1999 Nov;29(5):313-20. doi: 10.1006/pmed.1999.0554.


Background: Despite the potential influence of cigarette advertising on youth smoking, few studies have characterized brand-specific magazine advertising exposure among youths or examined its impact on youth smoking behavior.

Methods: A longitudinal youth survey was conducted to assess baseline exposure to brand-specific cigarette advertising in magazines and to measure subsequent smoking behavior. The sample comprised 1,069 Massachusetts youths, ages 12-15 years at baseline in 1993, and 627 of these youths who were interviewed after 4 years.

Results: Five brands accounted for 81.8% of the gross impressions for magazine advertising among Massachusetts youths. These same brands accounted for 88.4% of the brand market share among 12- to 15-year-old smokers nationally in 1993. The levels of brand-specific advertising exposure in the sample were highly correlated with these national brand market shares (r = 0.96, P = 0. 0002). Among the cohort, baseline brand-specific exposure to cigarette advertising in magazines was highly correlated with brand of initiation among new smokers (r = 0.93, P = 0.0001), brand smoked by current smokers (r = 0.86, P = 0.0004), and brand whose advertisements attracted attention the most (r = 0.87, P = 0.0002).

Conclusion: By documenting a relationship between brand-specific magazine advertising exposure and brand of smoking initiation among new smokers, this study provides strong new evidence that cigarette advertising influences youth smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advertising*
  • Child
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Periodicals as Topic*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology*