The Society for Social Work and Research

2014 Annual Conference

January 15-19, 2014 I Grand Hyatt San Antonio I San Antonio, TX

Tobacco Advertising and Marketing, and Adolescent Tobacco Use

Saturday, January 18, 2014
HBG Convention Center, Bridge Hall Street Level (San Antonio, TX)
* noted as presenting author
Mansoo Yu, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO
Brian Primack, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Ronald Pitner, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
René Olate, PhD, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Introduction: Tobacco companies have challenged the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA) rules restricting tobacco product advertising and marketing to youth. Still, youth have been exposed to tobacco advertisement and marketing. Although previous research has been well documented in the area of adolescent tobacco use, little is known about the relationships between tobacco advertising and marketing, and adolescent tobacco use. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to examine the associations between exposure to tobacco advertising and marketing, and use of different forms of tobacco products. Adolescence is important as treating and preventing adolescent tobacco use problems may reduce the risk of progressing to later nicotine dependence.

Methods: Using data from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 18,545 youth (Weighted N=27,394,239) in grades 6 through 12 were analyzed. The national sample consists of 56% white, 14% black, 20% Latino/Hispanic, 5% multiracial, 3% Asian, and 2% American Indian or Hawaiian Native adolescents. The mean age was 14.5 years old; and 51% were female youth. SAS PROC SURVEYLOGISTIC was used for weighted logit models to examine the associations between exposure to tobacco advertising and marketing, and use of different forms of tobacco products (i.e., cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, pipes and cigars).

Results: Our study showed that approximately two in three (61.6%) reported that they always (or most of the time) saw ads for tobacco products when they went to a convenience store, supermarket or gas station. About one in three (32.3%) saw actors used tobacco when they watched TV or went to movies. One in four (25.0%) saw ads for tobacco products at outdoors on a billboard. More than one in ten (11.5%) and 14.6% saw ads for tobacco products when they used the internet, and read newspapers or magazines, respectively. The internet and the mail were most popular methods that tobacco companies used for marketing, followed by e-mail, facebook, and text messages. Multiple regression analyses revealed that, after controlling for demographics such as age, gender and race/ethnicity, exposure to tobacco ads at outdoors on a billboard was related to all different forms of tobacco in the past month (i.e., cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars and pipes). Additionally, exposure to tobacco ads on the internet was related to current use of pipes and smokeless tobacco; Watching actors’ use of tobacco on TV or movies was significantly related to current cigarette smoking; and exposure to tobacco ads at convenience store or gas station was related to current pipe use. Tobacco company marketing such as providing coupons was also significantly related to adolescent tobacco use.     

Implications: Still, a substantial number of the youth were exposed to tobacco marketing and advertisements in this study, although the 2009 FSPTCA restricts tobacco product retail sales to youth by directing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to limit tobacco marketing and advertisements. The results might be useful for the FDA to improve the implementation of the FSPTCA. Specific implications for policy will be discussed.