Effects of pro- and anti-tobacco advertising on nonsmoking adolescents' intentions to smoke

J Adolesc Health. 2003 Jan;32(1):36-43. doi: 10.1016/s1054-139x(02)00451-2.


Purpose: To determine the effects of pro- and anti-tobacco advertising on nonsmoking adolescents' intention to smoke in a single cohort.

Methods: All ninth graders at seven public high schools were invited to participate in a study on adolescent tobacco use; 59.0% participated (n = 1229; active positive parental consent required). Adolescents who self-identified as never having smoked even a puff of a cigarette (n = 512) completed a self-administered questionnaire that included questions on intention to smoke in the near future and tobacco advertising. Independent variables used to predict intention included exposure to, recognition of, and receptivity and attitudes toward pro-tobacco and anti-tobacco advertising. Potential confounding variables included gender, race/ethnicity, smoking influences (adult household members, siblings, and friends), socioeconomic status, stress, and depression. Data analysis used logistic regression.

Demographics: 50.5% female, average age 14.9 +/- 0.4 years old at baseline, and varied race. Those variables found to be significant predictors of intention to smoke included: (positive, or increased intention) recognition of brand of favorite advertisement, willingness to use or wear tobacco-branded products, stress, and having friends who smoke and (negative, or decreased intention) agreement with anti-tobacco advertising and having a live-in father who smokes.

Conclusions: Although anti-tobacco advertising has a protective effect, it was unable to counteract the effects of pro-tobacco advertising in the same cohort.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Advertising*
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Decision Making*
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • San Francisco
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Marketing