Objective: To relate exposure to televised youth smoking prevention advertising to youths' smoking beliefs, intentions, and behaviors.
Methods: We obtained commercial television ratings data from 75 US media markets to determine the average youth exposure to tobacco company youth-targeted and parent-targeted smoking prevention advertising. We merged these data with nationally representative school-based survey data (n = 103,172) gathered from 1999 to 2002. Multivariate regression models controlled for individual, geographic, and tobacco policy factors, and other televised antitobacco advertising.
Results: There was little relation between exposure to tobacco company-sponsored, youth-targeted advertising and youth smoking outcomes. Among youths in grades 10 and 12, during the 4 months leading up to survey administration, each additional viewing of a tobacco company parent-targeted advertisement was, on average, associated with lower perceived harm of smoking (odds ratio [OR]=0.93; confidence interval [CI]=0.88, 0.98), stronger approval of smoking (OR=1.11; CI=1.03,1.20), stronger intentions to smoke in the future (OR=1.12; CI=1.04,1.21), and greater likelihood of having smoked in the past 30 days (OR=1.12; CI=1.04,1.19).
Conclusions: Exposure to tobacco company youth-targeted smoking prevention advertising generally had no beneficial outcomes for youths. Exposure to tobacco company parent-targeted advertising may have harmful effects on youth, especially among youths in grades 10 and 12.