Tobacco marketing and adolescent smoking: more support for a causal inference

Am J Public Health. 2000 Mar;90(3):407-11. doi: 10.2105/ajph.90.3.407.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marketing of Health Services*
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Industry*