The cigarette advertising broadcast ban and magazine coverage of smoking and health

J Public Health Policy. 1989 Spring;10(1):32-42.


At the time of the cigarette broadcast advertising ban, which took effect in 1971, cigarette manufacturers rapidly shifted advertising expenditures from the broadcast media to the print media. In the last year of broadcast advertising and the first year of the ban, cigarette ad expenditures in a sample of major national magazines increased by 49 and then 131 percent in constant dollars. From an 11-year period preceding the ban to an 11-year period following it, these magazines decreased their coverage of smoking and health by 65 percent, an amount that is statistically significantly greater than decreases found in magazines that did not carry cigarette ads and in two major newspapers. This finding adds to evidence that media dependent on cigarette advertising have restricted their coverage of smoking and health. This may have significant implications for public health, as well as raising obvious concerns about the integrity of the profession of journalism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Advertising*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Periodicals as Topic
  • Radio
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Television
  • United States