Effect of televised, tobacco company-funded smoking prevention advertising on youth smoking-related beliefs, intentions, and behavior

Am J Public Health. 2006 Dec;96(12):2154-60. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.083352. Epub 2006 Oct 31.


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.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Advertising
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Schools
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Marketing*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Industry*
  • United States / epidemiology