Objectives: We investigated whether receptivity to tobacco advertising and promotions during young adolescence predicts young adult smoking 6 years later.
Methods: Two longitudinal cohorts of adolescents drawn from the 1993 and 1996 versions of the California Tobacco Surveys were followed 3 and 6 years later. At baseline, adolescents were aged 12 to 15 years and were not established smokers. The outcome measure was established smoking at final follow-up. Receptivity to cigarette advertising and promotions was included in a multivariate logistic regression analysis along with demographic and other variables.
Results: The rate of established smoking at follow-up was significantly greater among members of the 1993 through 1999 cohort (21.0%) than among members of the 1996 through 2002 cohort (15.6%). However, in both cohorts, having a favorite cigarette advertisement and owning or being willing to use a tobacco promotional item showed nearly identical adjusted odds of future adult smoking (1.46 and 1.84, respectively).
Conclusions: Despite the success of tobacco control efforts in reducing youth smoking, tobacco marketing remains a potent influence on whether young adolescents become established smokers in young adulthood (18-21 years of age).