Objectives: This prospective study examined the effect of tobacco marketing on progression to established smoking.
Methods: Massachusetts adolescents (n = 529) who at baseline had smoked no more than 1 cigarette were reinterviewed by telephone in 1997. Analyses examined the effect of receptivity to tobacco marketing at baseline on progression to established smoking, controlling for significant covariates.
Results: Adolescents who, at baseline, owned a tobacco promotional item and named a brand whose advertisements attracted their attention were more than twice as likely to become established smokers (odds ratio = 2.70) than adolescents who did neither.
Conclusions: Participation in tobacco marketing often precedes, and is likely to facilitate, progression to established smoking. Hence, restrictions on tobacco marketing and promotion could reduce addiction to tobacco.