"Below the Line": The tobacco industry and youth smoking

Australas Med J. 2011;4(12):655-73. doi: 10.4066/AMJ.20111018. Epub 2011 Dec 31.


Background: This paper provides a comprehensive account of how the tobacco industry, over time, has promoted its products to young people.

Method: A comprehensive search of tobacco industry documents relating to youth smoking was conducted using documents available on the World Wide Web through the Master Settlement Agreement.

Results: The documents provide evidence that the industry invested great time and resources in developing strategies to attract young people through Youth Smoking Prevention strategies (including education strategies) and marketing to youth. The results include information from published literature and direct excerpts from the tobacco industry documents.

Conclusion: The tobacco industry documents confirm that the tobacco industry has promoted and supported strategies that are ineffective in reducing smoking by youth, and opposed strategies that have proven to be effective. It is clear from the documents reviewed that the industry values the youth market and through a number of measures continues to promote its products to young people.

Keywords: Youth; tobacco; tobacco industry.