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Product Design

Chapter 10: Does Tobacco Advertising Influence Teens to Start Smoking?

Date: 1993
Length: 11 pages
514505759-514505769
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Abstract

Contains Chapter 10 from a publication entitled "Tobacco Use In California." Discusses tobacco advertising and its effect on young children and teens and elucidates the "mechanisms by which tobacco advertising may encourage young children to start smoking." States that 90% of 12 and 13 year-olds could name a brand that was advertised. Reports that Joe Camel "is particularly salient to the very young" and adolescents under 17 chose Camel advertisements "as their favorite advertisements" more than the advertisements for any other cigarette brand.

Fields

Hypothesis
Smoking psychology and behavior
Youth initiation/ youth products
Design changes affecting youth smoking or encouraging young adults to become regular smokers.
Keyword
Benefits of Smoking
Smoker behavior (Human smoking behavior)
Puff parameters, daily intake, etc.
Social psychology
Coping/stress management, image, and personality
Stress (Relaxation)
Named Organization
Associated Press (AP) (National Uniform Press Service)
Journal of the American Medical Assocation JAMA
Subject
advertising
advertising restriction
advertising to youth
smoking benefits (benefits to smoking as a subject for research)
research linking smoking to improving symptoms of Parkinson's and Alzheimers
underage smoking
Brand
Camel (RJR)
Marlboro (PM)
Newport (Lorillard)
Salem (RJR)
Virginia Slims (PM)
Winston (RJR)

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Does Tobacco Advertising Influence Teens to Start Smoking? These data provide further strong evidence that the impact of tobacco advertising reaches the youngest adolescents in our society. FAVORITE CIGARETTE ADVERTISEMENTS OF TEENAGERS Figure 10.2 presents data from the 1992 survey on the targeting of tobacco advertising. Information was obtained by asking adolescents: "What is the name of the cigarette brand of your favorite cigarette advertisement?" Brand of Favorite Cigarette Advertisement by Age 12-13 M Source: CTS 1992 Figure 10.2 16-17 ® None/Object to All Some 40% of 12- to 13-year-olds indicated that they objected to all cigarette advertising or had no favorite advertisement. This number decreased to 35% for 14- to 15-year-olds and to 27% for 16- and 17-year-olds. In each age group, the Camel advertisement was much preferred to the Marlboro advertisement. This was particularly true of the 12- to 13-year age group, where nearly four times as many children indicated that Camel was their favorite advertisement as indicated Marlboro. Among 14- to 15-year-olds, twice as many preferred Camel to Marlboro, a proportion that decreased to 69% in 16- to 17-year-olds. By inviting teenagers to specify their favorite advertised brand we found further support for the high salience of cartoon advertising such as Joe Camel among very young adolescents. 14-15 Age Camel EJMarlboro / Other 113
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Does Tobacco Advertising Influence Teens to Start Smoking? control; it increased by 60% when the benefit was handling stressful situations; and increased by 40% when the benefit was social facilitation. Relation of Ad Promotion and Perceived Benefits of Smoking Among Teens Exposed to Smokers Controls Weight Relieves Horedom Reduces Stress Helps Relax Helps Socialiu Overall Utility Benefits M Source: CTS 1992 Ads Don't Promote Q Ads Promote Figure 10.6 Among adolescents who knew no one who smoked (Figure 10.7), 28% of those who did not think that advertising promoted any smoking benefits saw smoking as beneficial. Among those who saw advertising as promoting any benefit, this proportion increased almost threefold to 76%. Again the effect of perceiving advertising as promoting a benefit had a marked effect on the proportion of adolescents who attributed that benefit to smoking. The proportion increased sixfold when the issue was weight control; it more than doubled when the benefit was stress control; and it increased threefold when the benefit was to increase confidence in social settings. 117
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A TOBACCO USE IN CALIFORNIA NOMINATION OF A FAVORITE ADVERTISED BRAND AND SUSCEPTIBILITY TO SMOKE Figure 10.3 compares the susceptibility to smoke among California adolescents of different ages according to whether or not they reported a favorite tobacco advertisement. For those who were unable to nominate a brand as being advertised or indicated that they objected to all tobacco advertising, approximately one quarter were susceptible to smoke regardless of age. Nomination of a Favorite Advertised Brand and Susceptibility to Smoke in California Teens 1992 60 ~, 50 ... ~ ~ 40 U ~, 30 f 40 20 U H a10 0 Source: CTS 1992 None Marlboro Camel Brand of Favorite Advertisement 0 Age 12-13 EJ 14-15 / 16-17 Figure 10.3 Other Among 12- to 13-year-olds, nomination of a favorite cigarette ad brand increased the proportion who were susceptible to smoke by more than 40%. This increase in susceptibility did not depend on which brand ad was chosen as the favorite by adolescents. The level of susceptibility remained -the same for adolescents who chose Camel, Marlboro, or any other brand as their favorite advertisement. The effect of having a favorite tobacco ad on susceptibility to smoke was similar among older teenagers. Having a favorite brand nearly doubled the proportion of adolescents aged 14 to 17 years who were susceptible to smoke. DO CIGARETTE ADVERTISEMENTS PROMOTE THE BENEFITS OF SMOKING? In earlier chapters we showed that teenagers who attached specific benefits to smoking (such as helping people to relax or to feel comfortable in social situations) were more likely to be 114
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TOBACCO USE IN CALIFORNIA 3. Salient advertising may promote future smoking. Having a favorite brar advertisement doubled the proportion of adolescents over the age of 14 who susceptible to smoking. It also had a marked effect on the susceptibility of 12- t, year-old children. 4. Evidence suggests that tobacco advertising may encourage teenagers to smokt associating smoking with benefits that they want. Adolescents across age groups ~ overwhelmingly in agreement that tobacco advertising promotes specific benefit smoking. The more cigarette advertisements adolescents recalled, the more li adolescents were to believe that advertising promotes the benefits suggested in the sur Cigarette advertising appears to be a powerful independent source of information a the benefits of smoking for adolescents, beyond the information they receive f smokers they know. Cigarette advertising was especially associated with attributions t smoking was beneficial for increasing confidence in social settings and in weight cont; Having a smoker in the social environment was especially associated with the attribut that relaxation was a benefit of smoking. 120
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Does Tobacco Advertising Influence Teens to Start Smoking? The Differential Effect of Advertising and Knowing a Smoker on Benefits Attributed to Smoking Benefits Source: CTS 1992 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS ' ~ Know Smoker & Ads Kl Don't Know Smoker & Don't Promote Benefits Ads Promote Benefits Figure 10.8 1. Tobacco advertising reaches the very young. Audience awareness of cigarette advertising for the most popular brands is already well established in young adolescence. More than 90% of 12- to 13-year-old children could nominate a brand that was advertised. The cigarette brands most frequently recalled were Camel and Marlboro. 2. The cartoon character, Joe Camel, is particularly salient to the very young. Adolescents under 17 years chose the Camel advertisements as their favorite advertisements at a rate far exceeding that for any other cigarette brand. Among 12- to 13-year-olds, Camel advertisements were chosen as their favorite advertisements almost four times as often as Marlboro advertisements. 119 ...~. P.~.K..:.... . . .
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I TOBACCO USE IN CALIFORNIA Relation of Ad Promotion and Perceived Benefits of Smoking Among Teens With No Exposure to Smokers Control. We)yht Relxives SorWom Reduoe. Strew Holp. Relax Benefits M Source: CTS 1992 Ads Don't Promote KlAds Promote Figure 10.7 We can assess the differential effect of knowing a smoker with the effect of seeing advertising by comparing those who did not perceive advertising as promoting smoking benefits_ in Figure 10.6 with those who did in Figure10.7. We have reproduced these data in Figure 10.8. Knowing,-:,, someone who smoked had a larger effect than advertising only in attributing relaxation as a` benefit of smoking. For each other perceived benefit, the effect of advertising was greater than the effect of knowing a smoker. The effect of advertising was particularly striking for the ~ attributing of weight control and social facilitation as benefits of smoking. P~ tA Ln m Ln -4 rn 118 ''
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TOBACCO USE IN CALIFORNIA Figure 10.5, which examines the relationship between the number of brand advertisements recalled and the perception that advertising promotes the benefits of smoking. As shown, a 12- or 13- year-old teenager who could recall at least three cigarette brand advertisements was nearly eight times more likely to feel that cigarette advertising promoted the benefits of smoking compared to teenagers in this age group who could not recall an advertisement. The Perception of Any Benefits of Smoking by the Number of Advertisements Recalled: California Teenagers 1992 12-13 Source: CTS 1992 14-15 Age The Number of Ads Recalled M 0E112 ® 3+ Figure 10.5 16-17 CAN THE PERCEPTION OF BENEFITS OF SMOKING BE EXPLAINED BY EXPOSURE TO OTHER SMOKERS IN THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT? It may be argued that information about the benefits of smoking is acquired primarily from friends who smoke or from smokers in the family, rather than from tobacco advertising. To address this issue, adolescents were divided into two groups: those who knew at least one smoker ~:t" (Figure 10.6) and those who knew no one who smoked (Figure 10.7). These figures present the relationship between the perception that tobacco advertising promotes the benefits of smoking and the personal belief that smoking is beneficial. AGti Among adolescents who knew smokers (Figure 10.6), 56% of those who did not think thaf cigarette advertising promoted any of the benefits of smoking saw smoking as beneficial. , Thinking that advertising promoted any smoking benefits increased by one third the proportion seeing smoking as beneficial to 73%. This finding occurred for each benefit individually. The perception that advertising promoted the benefit markedly increased the proportion of adolescents who attributed that benefit to smoking. The proportion doubled when the benefit was weight 116 r ..,
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Chapter 10 DOES TOBACCO ADVERTISING INFLUENCE TEENS TO START SMOKING? Ln ~ . ,~ Ln m Ln -4 109 ~
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Does Tobacco Advertising Influence Teens to Start Smoking? susceptible to smoking than teenagers who saw no utility in smoking. Given that advertising is generally concerned to establish the rewards available to anyone using the advertised product, Nve hypothesize that some of the information teenagers possess about the benefits of smoking might derive from tobacco advertising. We suggest that tobacco advertising may encourage teenagers to smoke by influencing their expectations about the behavior, such that they become aware ot the supposed advantages to smoking. Figure 10.4 shows how teenagers who have a favorite advertisement responded when askcxi whether ci arette advertising promotes the benefits of smoking. Irrespective of age, most teenagers agree that cigarette advertising made claims about the 5enefits of smoking, particularl.• its role in facilitating social intercourse and as a means of relaxing or coping with stressful situations. Although older teenagers were more likely to attribute this function to cigarette advertising, a substantial proportion of the youngest age group were already cognizant of ttle ositive messatid iid e o i i ~ p g s c n a ne n c garette a ng. vert s Benefits Perceived as Promoted by Cigarette Ads The Impact of Nominating Multiple Cigarette Advertisements on Perceptions of Advertising Themes Is the reception of positive messages about smoking from advertising a cumulative effect that is based on exposure to more than one cigarette advertisement? This question is addressed in 115
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Does Tobacco Advertising Influence Teens to Start Smoking? INTRODUCTION The relationship between tobacco advertising and tobacco consumption has been the subject of much research. In recent years a number of countries have introduced 'a total ban on tobacco advertising (Norway in 1975, Finland in 1977, Canada in 1989, Australia in 1990, and New Zealand in 1990). A review of the evidence from these countries found that the elimination of tobacco advertising was associated with a significant decline in tobacco consumption.72 The contribution of tobacco advertising to smoking uptake among children has been more difficult to quantify. Evidence from several countries suggests that both smokers and prospective smokers find tobacco advertising more attractive than nonsmokers do.73 In December 1991, this issue was brought into sharp public focus with the publication of three research papers in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).sb,'a,7s These studies demonstrated that the revitalized campaign for Camel cigarettes in the United States had a stronger impact on the very young than it did on adults. A further survey conducted by the advertising industry and reported in the Advertising Age76 found that the majority of children aged 8 through 13 years could name cigarette brands. Moreover, this age group was able to describe how these brands were advertised (with a camel and cowboy and not with other images such as dolphins, clowns, etc.). Publication of these findings produced considerable outrage and prompted several leading figures in the public health community to question the morality of tobacco advertising when directed toward children (Associated Press; March 10, 1992). Despite extensive public discussion, no further restriction on the ability of tobacco companies to advertise has ensued. In this chapter, we revisit the issue of the impact of tobacco advertising. The data presented aims to provide not only additional evidence that tobacco advertising successfully targets young children, but also to promote further research into the impact of advertising on smoking behavior, by elucidating the mechanisms by which tobacco advertising may encourage young children to start smoking. AWARENESS OF CIGARETTE ADVERTISING AMONG TEENS In the 1992 survey, teenagers were asked to name any cigarette brand that they knew was advertised. Table 10.1 shows which cigarette brands were most often recalled as advertised by age. Among 12- to 13-year-olds, almost two thirds nominated both Marlboro and Camel as advertised brands. A much smaller 13% nominated Virginia Slims as a brand that they knew was advertised, followed by Winston, Salem, and Newport, all with small percentages. This pattern remained essentially the same among older age groups, with slightly higher recall rates. Based on these data we estimated that Camel has achieved 96% of its total penetration among 13-year- old teenagers, Marlboro has achieved 82%, and Virginia Slims 69%. 111

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