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HHS HealthBeat (April 25, 2014)

Teens, tobacco and direct marketing

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

The tobacco industry uses postal mail, the Web and social media to attract customers. And, although tobacco marketers say they don’t want teen customers, a researcher notes that these kids are among those who see the messages and who may be influenced to buy the product.

At Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center in New Hampshire, Samir Soneji says teens are noticing the marketing.

“The greater the exposure to direct-to-consumer tobacco marketing, the greater the odds of ever having tried smoking, smoking in the past 30 days, and smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.”

Soneji says parents who smoke should take their names off industry mailing lists so their kids don’t get the messages.

The study in the Journal of Adolescent Health was supported by the National Institutes of 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: April 25, 2014