An experimental study of effects on schoolchildren of exposure to point-of-sale cigarette advertising and pack displays

Health Educ Res. 2006 Jun;21(3):338-47. doi: 10.1093/her/cyl005. Epub 2006 May 15.


By creating a sense of familiarity with tobacco, cigarette advertising and bold packaging displays in stores where children often visit may help to pre-dispose them to smoking. A total of 605 ninth-grade students were randomly allocated to view a photograph of a typical convenience store point-of-sale which had been digitally manipulated to show either cigarette advertising and pack displays, pack displays only or no cigarettes. Students then completed a self-administered questionnaire. Compared with those who viewed the no cigarettes, students either in the display only condition or cigarette advertising condition perceived it would be easier to purchase tobacco from these stores. Those who saw the cigarette advertising perceived it would be less likely they would be asked for proof of age, and tended to think a greater number of stores would sell cigarettes to them, compared with respondents who saw no tobacco products. Respondents in the display only condition tended to recall displayed cigarette brands more often than respondents who saw no cigarettes. Cigarette advertising similarly influenced students, and tended to weaken students' resolve not to smoke in future. Retail tobacco advertising as well as cigarette pack displays may have adverse influences on youth, suggesting that tighter tobacco marketing restrictions are needed.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advertising*
  • Commerce*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Persuasive Communication*
  • Smoking
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Industry*
  • Victoria