| Fact Sheet
Advertising and Children's Use of Tobacco
Did you know?
- In 2002, the major cigarette companies
spent $12.5 billion ($34.2 million/day)
on advertising. That is an increase of 11%
from 2001 and an 85% increase since 1998
when the companies agreed to stop some marketing
strategies in the 1998 tobacco lawsuit agreement
with various states (Federal Trade Commission,
- The major portion of cigarette marketing
dollars (63.2%) was paid to retailers and
wholesalers to reduce the price of cigarettes
to consumers, one of the main reasons (high
prices) teens give for giving up smoking
(Federal Trade Commission, 2004)
- Another $1.06 billion was spent on promotions
involving free cigarettes, store displays,
and payments to facilitate the sale of cigarettes.
This adds up to 77.5% of marketing dollars
that major cigarette companies spend. A
major portion of these dollars are spent
at the retail (convenience) store level,
where teens are most likely to visit (Federal
Trade Commission, 2004)
- Each day in the United States, nearly
4,000 children under the age of eighteen
start smoking. As a result more than 6.4
million children living today will die an
early tobacco related death (Centers for
Disease Control, 2004).
- In 2002, 22.9% (down from a high of a
high of 36%) of high school students in
the United States are smoke cigarettes.
This is a significant drop in the rates
from 2000. The rates did not fall significantly
among middle school students, however, 10.1%
of whom smoke cigarettes (Centers for Disease
- Approximately eight out of ten of adult
smokers started smoking when they were adolescents
(Centers for Disease Control, 2004). Nicotine
addiction is more likely to occur when first
use occurs at a young age (Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Services Administration,
- An estimated 11% of high school boys
are smokeless tobacco users. These teens
will be more likely to become cigarette
smokers (Centers for Disease Control Fact
- Children and teens who use tobacco are
less fit and have more lung related illnesses
than their peers who do not smoke. A smoker's
lungs declines faster than a nonsmoker's
(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
- Adolescents who smoke are more likely
to use other tobacco products, alcohol,
and illicit drugs than teen who do not smoke
(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Nicotine in the bloodstream is quickly absorbed,
reaching the brain in 30 seconds, causing
the brain to release dopamine, the "feel
good" neurotransmitter. Nicotine in the
teenage brain causes an increase in the number
of nicotine docking stations so the brain
quickly adapts to the presence of nicotine
and reacts negatively when it is absent. Thus
teens become more easily addicted, more quickly
since when these docking stations are empty
they feel down and depressed, even angry and
need to smoke again to alleviate negative
feelings (Walsh, 2004).
Watch out for
- tobacco marketing that promises luxury
- candy look alikes
- displays giving out free gear: t-shirts
and caps with logos
- glamorized smoking in the media: TV, movies,
magazines, and sports
Teens who own a tobacco promotional item
and could name a brand of cigarettes were
more than twice as likely to become a smoker
Tips from the Centers for Disease Control:
- Despite the impact of movies, music, and
TV, parents can be the GREATEST INFLUENCE
in their kids' lives.
- Talk directly to children about the risks
of tobacco use; if friends or relatives
died from tobacco-related illnesses, let
your kids know.
- If you use tobacco, you can still make
a difference. Your best move, of course,
is to try to quit. Meanwhile, don't use
tobacco in your children's presence, don't
offer it to them, and don't leave it where
they can easily get it.
- Start the dialog about tobacco use at
age 5 or 6 and continue through their high
school years. Many kids start using tobacco
by age 11, and many are addicted by age
- Know if your kids' friends use tobacco.
Talk about ways to refuse tobacco.
- Discuss with kids the false glamorization
of tobacco on billboards, and other media,
such as movies, TV, and magazines.
For more information on the National Institute
on Media and the Family's anti-smoking curriculum
- Centers for Disease Control (2004).
Tobacco Information and Prevention Source
found at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/
- Centers for Disease Control Fact Sheet
(2004). Smokeless Tobacco, found
- Federal Trade Commission (2004). Cigarette
Report for 2003 found at http://www.ftc.gov/reports/cigarette/041022cigaretterpt.pdf.
- Biener, L. and Siegel M. (2000, March).
Tobacco marketing and adolescent smoking:
more support for a causal inference.
American Journal of Public Health, 90(3),
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration (2004). Results from the
2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:
National Findings (Office of Applied
Studies, NSDUH Series H-25, DHHS Publication
No. SMA 04-3964). Rockville, MD. Found at
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(2004). The Health Consequences of Smoking:
A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention
and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking
and Health. Found at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/sgr/sgr_2004/Factsheets/1.htm
- Walsh, David, Ph.D. (2004). Why Do
They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the
Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen.
Free Press, New York.
Last revised: 11/18/04