Recently published in the online journal BMJ Open, more damning research regarding the effect of tobacco ads on teens was recorded. Seems that the ads may be even more effective than originally thought. For every ten tobacco ads sighted, a teen’s risk of taking up smoking was boosted 40%.
The research team based their findings on 1,300 ten to fifteen non-smokers were monitored over a period of 30 months for exposure to tobacco advertising.
Back in 2008, the children who were made up of German public school students, were interviewed about the frequency they had seen specific ads. These ads included six different cigarette brands, clothing, cars, toys, candy, and mobile phones as well.
30 months later in 2011, they were asked the same set of questions and additionally about their smoking habits.
One third admitted that they had tried smoking during the period of thirty months, and ten percent claimed to have smoked within the final month.
One in twenty children stated that they smoked every day. One third of the regular smokers were 14 or younger; one fourth were 16 or older.
While overall exposure to tobacco ads was much lower than the exposure to the ads of the other products, one specific as was experienced by over 50% of the children, and more than ten times by 13% of the group.
The teens who saw the most tobacco ads were about twice as likely to become daily smokers compared to the children who witnessed less of the ads.
“Data from this study support this measure, because only exposure to tobacco advertisements predicted smoking initiation, which cannot be attributed to a general receptiveness to marketing," the study states.