Do cigarette ads influence kids to start smoking? It sure looks that way.
According to a story in Heath Day news, the more tobacco advertising teenagers see, the more likely they are to start smoking.
German researchers found that for every 10 tobacco ads that a teenager sees, his risk of starting to smoke increases by 40 percent.
The lead scientist who did the study says this should lend support to a total ban on tobacco advertising. That ban is advocated by the World Health Organization.
For the study, researchers looked at more than 1,300 nonsmokers, ages 10 to 15. Their exposure to tobacco ads and their subsequent smoking behavior was monitored for 30 months.
At the end of the 30 months, one-third of the youngsters admitted to trying smoking and 10 percent said they had smoked within the past 30 days
Five percent of the kids said they had smoked more than 100 cigarettes and were classified as established smokers. A similar percentage said they now smoked every day.
Youngsters who saw the most tobacco ads during the 30 months were about twice as likely to become established smokers and daily smokers compared to those who saw the fewest ads.
By the way, one-third of the those smokers were 14 or younger.
Although the study found an association between tobacco ads and the likelihood of smoking, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.
For more information on how to prevent children and teenagers from smoking, visit the The American Lung Association’s website at lung.org.
I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.
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