Background: Previous research has examined tobacco marketing receptivity across racial/ethnic groups but none has done so across the various levels of the smoking uptake continuum. Identifying adolescent groups that may be more or less receptive to industry marketing, particularly across the levels of smoking uptake, provides important information that may be useful in focusing efforts to eliminate smoking disparities.
Methods: Data came from 5857 adolescents (66.6% response rate) from the 2002 California Tobacco Survey and were analyzed in 2006. An index measure of receptivity to tobacco marketing was based on advertisement recall and willingness to use/own a tobacco promotional item. Respondents were classified along a smoking uptake continuum as committed never smokers, susceptible never smokers, or any smoking. Logistic regression models controlling for possible confounding variables were fit to test for the association between receptivity and race/ethnicity across levels of smoking uptake.
Results: African Americans (odds ratio [OR]=0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.61-0.96) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (OR=0.80; 95% CI=0.66-0.97) were less likely than non-Hispanic white adolescents to be receptive to tobacco marketing after controlling for possible confounders. For susceptible never smokers, African Americans (OR =0.67; 95% CI=0.47-0.93) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (OR=0.72; 95% CI=0.54-0.95) were less likely than non-Hispanic white adolescents to be receptive.
Conclusions: There may be features of the African-American and Asian/Pacific Islander cultures that are protective against receptivity to tobacco marketing, even among those who are susceptible never smokers. Prevention strategies emphasizing such features for adolescents of other races/ethnicities may be beneficial in reducing smoking disparities.