Tobacco Marketing Promotes Youth Cigarette Use..

August 24, 2008 - The U.S. National Cancer Institutes Monograph 19 has just been released. The nearly 700 page report, entitled "The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use" took four years to compile and involved the expert analysis from 23 authors who analyzed more than 1,000 scientific studies on the role of media in encouraging and discouraging tobacco use.

Dr. Melanie Wakefield, the senior scientific editor indicated that media plays a key role in shaping knowledge, opinions, attitudes and behaviors in communities. A causal relationship exists between tobacco promotion and ads and increased tobacco use. The tobacco industry lures smokers with three themes: that tobacco provides satisfaction (taste, freshness, mildness, etc.) , that the dangers of tobacco use shouldn't provoke anxiety and that tobacco use is associated with desirable outcomes (independence, social success, sexual attraction, thinness, etc.).

Cigarette advertising and promotion (totaled more than $13.5 billion in 2005 (in 2006 dollars) ) are heavy in volume and high in visibility at the point of sale, particularly in convenience (c) stores. About 60% of all cigarette sold in the U.S are purchased in c-stores. Expenditures for smokeless tobacco advertising and promotion reached $259 million (in 2006 dollars) in 2005. The five largest categories of expenditure were price discounts (40%), coupons (11%), sampling (11%), point of sale (8%), and magazines (8%).

Reference: NCI Monograph 19: The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use and Tobacco Marketing Promotes Youth Cigarette Use (But landmark report also says mass media anti-tobacco campaigns work, too by Kathleen Doheny, U.S. News & World Report, 8/21/2008.