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J Pediatr Psychol. 2002 Mar;27(2):145-54.

Interacting effects of depression and tobacco advertising receptivity on adolescent smoking.

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  • 1Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, District of Columbia 20007-4104, USA.



To evaluate the independent effects of exposure to others who smoke and receptivity to tobacco advertising on adolescent smoking practices and the moderating influence of depression on these relationships.


Participants were 1,123 high school freshmen who completed a self-report survey as part of a longitudinal investigation of the biobehavioral predictors of adolescent smoking adoption. Sixty percent of freshmen reported that they were never smokers (i.e., never tried or experimented with smoking, even a few puffs), and 40% reported being ever smokers (i.e., ever smoked at least a partial or whole cigarette).


In logistic regression models, the adjusted likelihood of ever smoking was greater for students reporting exposure to peer smoking. Further, a significant interaction was detected between receptivity to tobacco advertising and depression; specifically, adolescents with a high receptivity to tobacco advertising and clinically significant depressive symptoms were more likely to smoke than adolescents without these symptoms.


Our data support the hypothesis that adolescents with both high advertising receptivity and depressed moods are most vulnerable to experiment with smoking. Tailoring prevention and intervention efforts to encompass tobacco advertising's effects and the role of depression could lead to a reduction in youth smoking.

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