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Lancet. 1991 Jan 12;337(8733):93-6.

Cigarette advertising policy and coverage of smoking and health in British women's magazines.

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Department of Community Medicine, Medical School, Edinburgh, UK.


A survey of cigarette advertising and coverage of health aspects of smoking in 86 British magazines with a large female readership was done in 1989. The findings were compared with the results of a 1985 survey which had led to the introduction of new voluntary restrictions in 1986 on cigarette advertising in magazines. Although there was a decrease in the proportion of magazines accepting cigarette advertising (64% to 42%), the new restrictions failed to cover the most popular magazines, so that an estimated collective readership of 7 million women aged 15-24 years were still exposed to cigarette advertising. Revenue from cigarette advertising by women's magazines increased by 10% in real terms between 1985 and 1988. There was a small decrease in the coverage given to health aspects of smoking; a third of magazines were willing to use pictures of people smoking in their editorial pages. The findings show that the voluntary restrictions introduced in the UK in 1986 have had a small effect on cigarette advertising and have failed to achieve their aim of protecting young women.

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