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Scand J Public Health. 2007;35(1):31-8.

Tobacco images and texts in Norwegian magazines and newspapers.

Author information

Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, and Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of North Norway, Norway.



Print media may influence smoking behaviour through tobacco advertisements and editorial use of tobacco pictures and texts. In Norway tobacco advertising has been banned for many years. The authors studied the coverage of tobacco promotion and tobacco and health in some general Norwegian magazines and newspapers. The findings were related to the publications' policy as stated by their editors.


During three months in 1998-99 all pictures of tobacco and smoking situations were registered, plus the coverage on health aspects of tobacco in all consecutive issues of 7 newspapers and 19 magazines. The editors were asked about their attitudes regarding indirect tobacco advertisement and editorial use of people smoking.


All editors for men's magazines and the majority of newspaper editors had no restrictions on displaying both indirect tobacco advertisements and images of people smoking. In total, 610 texts or pictures on tobacco were found in the 624 issues of magazines and newspapers. Only 26 items were indirect tobacco advertisements. Items promoting smoking were more common than coverage of tobacco and health (71% vs 29%), and occurred most frequently in men's magazines (2.1 per issue) and least frequently in local newspapers (0.3 per issue). The proportion of tobacco and health coverage compared with the total tobacco coverage was significantly lower in men's than in family magazines and local newspapers.


Editors should be encouraged to increase the coverage of tobacco and health in print media. This may be an important factor in helping their readers to give up or not to take up smoking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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