Tobacco marketing in California and implications for the future

Tob Control. 2010 Apr;19 Suppl 1(Suppl_1):i21-9. doi: 10.1136/tc.2009.031963.


Background: Tobacco marketing influences tobacco use initiation, maintenance of use, and it undermines comprehensive tobacco control programmes. Policies to ban the impact of tobacco marketing are most likely to be more effective if they are comprehensive, as partial bans shift marketing to non-banned forms of media. A comprehensive approach to reducing tobacco marketing includes documentation through monitoring, media and policy interventions and aggressive enforcement of existing laws.

Methods: This paper summarises California tobacco industry monitoring of events and retail outlets, and findings about exposure to and beliefs about tobacco industry marketing among youths and adults conducted during the period 2000 through 2008.

Results: There was no overall change in the average number of cigarette materials per store, and an increase in the percentage of stores with advertisements promoting price discounts for cigarettes. Stores with cigarette advertisements near candy displays declined from 12.5% (95% CI 9.8% to 15.2%) to 1% (95% CI 0.2% to 1.9%) of stores, and advertisements at or below the eye-level of children declined from 78.6% (95% CI 75.2% to 82.0%) to 31% (95% CI 27.1% to 34.9%) of stores. Overall, the number of public events with tobacco sponsorship declined from 77.3% to 48.1%. This trend was consistent with a significant decline noted among high school students and adults who reported seeing tobacco advertisements at events or attending a tobacco company-sponsored event.

Conclusions: Tobacco industry monitoring, media, policy and enforcement interventions may have contributed to observed changes in tobacco marketing and to declines in reported exposure to tobacco marketing.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advertising
  • California
  • Child
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Humans
  • Marketing* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Marketing* / methods
  • Marketing* / statistics & numerical data
  • Public Opinion
  • Smoking*
  • Tobacco
  • Tobacco Industry* / economics
  • Tobacco Industry* / legislation & jurisprudence