Cigarette advertising and adolescent experimentation with smoking

Br J Addict. 1991 Mar;86(3):287-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1991.tb01781.x.


The extent to which cigarette advertising contributes to increases in smoking has been debated by public health professionals and the tobacco industry. One aspect of this debate has been the degree to which advertising influences smoking among adolescents. Previous research suggests that there are significant relationships between measures of advertising and smoking. However, potential simultaneous relationships between these measures have not been addressed. Observed correlations may arise from the effects of advertising on smoking or from smokers' selective exposure to advertisements. This study examined relationships between cigarette advertising and smoking experimentation. Using environmental and psychological measures of advertising exposure, it was demonstrated that adolescents who experimented with cigarettes were better able to recognize advertised products than those who had not, a selective exposure effect. Conversely, subjects who were better at recognizing advertised brands were more likely to have experimented with cigarettes, an effect due to their exposure to cigarette advertising.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advertising*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Perfume
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Perfume