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HHS HealthBeat (July 8, 2013)

Kids and smoking ads

HHS HealthBeat: A person refuses a cigarette from a pack.

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Kids and Tobacco

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

It’s easy enough to run into tobacco ads – for instance, at convenience stores, in magazines, and on the Internet. And even if the ads are supposed to be for adults – teens are too young to smoke, right? – researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say a lot of kids continue to see them, and be influenced by them.

Dr. Shanta Dube looked at 2011 national data on middle and high school students. She wanted to see if those who saw the ads were becoming open to trying smoking:

“Exposure increases the odds of middle school students to being susceptible to smoke by a factor of two or three.”

Seeing the ads also increased the odds for high school students, but less than for middle schoolers.

The study was in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: July 8, 2013