Which adolescents are most receptive to tobacco industry marketing? implications for counter-advertising campaigns

Health Commun. 2003;15(4):499-513. doi: 10.1207/S15327027HC1504_07.


This study sought to identify adolescents most receptive to tobacco advertising based on individual differences in novelty-seeking personality and other key variables. Confidential self-report surveys were completed by 1,071 high school freshmen at 5 public high schools. The survey included validated measures of novelty-seeking personality, smoking habits, peer and family smoking, and tobacco advertising receptivity. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the independent associations of these variables and demographics with receptivity to tobacco advertising. Of the ninth graders, 44% had moderate to high levels of advertising receptivity and 54% had minimal to low levels of receptivity. Higher levels of receptivity were associated with ever smoking (odds ratio [OR] = 2.59, confidence interval [CI] = 1.99-3.39) and novelty-seeking personality (OR = 2.14, CI = 1.57-2.93). The association of novelty-seeking personality and tobacco advertising receptivity was most pronounced among adolescents who had never had a puff of a cigarette. Counter-advertising messages should consider individual differences in novelty-seeking, because novelty-seekers may be most receptive to tobacco industry promotional campaigns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Advertising / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Peer Group
  • Personality Inventory
  • Persuasive Communication*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Smoking / ethnology
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Students / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Industry / methods*
  • Virginia / epidemiology