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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Dec;160(12):1285-96.

The extent to which tobacco marketing and tobacco use in films contribute to children's use of tobacco: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.



To quantify the effect of exposure on initiation of tobacco use among adolescents.


A systematic literature search of MEDLINE, PsychINFO, ABI/INFORM, and Business Source Premier through October/November 2005 was conducted. Unpublished studies were solicited from researchers.


Of 401 citations initially identified, 51 (n = 141 949 participants) met the inclusion criteria: reporting on exposure and tobacco use outcomes and participants younger than 18 years. Included studies reported 146 effects; 89 were conceptually independent effects. Data were extracted independently by 3 of us using a standardized tool. Weighted averages were calculated using a linear mixed-effects model. Heterogeneity and publication bias were assessed. Main Exposures Exposures (tobacco advertising, promotions, and samples and pro-tobacco depictions in films, television, and videos) were categorized as low or high engagement based on the degree of psychological involvement required.


Outcomes were categorized as cognitive (attitudes or intentions) or behavioral (initiation, tobacco use status, or progression of use).


Exposure to pro-tobacco marketing and media increases the odds of youth holding positive attitudes toward tobacco use (odds ratio, 1.51; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-2.13) and more than doubles the odds of initiating tobacco use (odds ratio, 2.23; 95% confidence interval, 1.79-2.77). Highly engaging marketing and media are more effective at promoting use (odds ratio, 2.67; 95% confidence interval, 2.19-3.25). These effects are observed across time, in different countries, with different study designs and measures of exposure and outcome.


Pro-tobacco marketing and media stimulate tobacco use among youth. A ban on all tobacco promotions is warranted to protect children.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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