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Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation
higher likelihood of smoking. Although it is difficult to isolate the effect of any particular strand in the web of influences that encourage adolescents to smoke, prevailing scientific opinion regards the relationship between promotional exposures and smoking to be a causal one.
Cigarette advertising also affects demand by current and former smokers. Tobacco advertisements and promotional campaigns may reduce current smokers’ willingness to quit smoking and may induce former smokers to resume their habit by reinforcing the attractions of smoking (Chaloupka and Warner 1999; Warner 1986). A review of tobacco industry documents confirmed that the companies have actively researched the determinants of cessation, and based upon their findings, they engaged in marketing efforts expressly designed to discourage current smokers from quitting and to encourage former smokers to relapse (Ling and Glantz 2004; Pollay and Dewhirst 2002). For example, upon discovering that health was the most frequently reported reason for quitting, the companies sought to address potential quitters’ concerns by developing and promoting more socially acceptable products (Ling and Glantz 2004) and advertising filtered and low-tar cigarettes as alternatives to quitting (Pollay and Dewhirst 2002). The companies have also attempted to encourage former smokers to resume smoking by increasing the number of advertisements appearing in popular magazines during periods when former smokers may be particularly vulnerable. A review of studies on cigarette advertising revealed that since 1984, advertising for cigarettes is more prevalent in January and February than it is in other months (Basil et al. 2000). Researchers believe that this trend likely reflects an attempt to counter New Year’s resolutions by targeting recent quitters when their withdrawal symptoms are peaking.
Tobacco Advertising Should Be Limited to Black-and-White–Text Only
A text-only regulatory approach to tobacco advertising, recommended by the IOM in 1994, is suitably tailored to promote the government’s interests in reducing the initiation of smoking by youth, and in reducing the level of smoking in general while respecting the industry’s interests in communicating product and price information. The government’s compelling interest in preventing the initiation of smoking by youth justifies constraints on the use of promotional messages and images that have a unique appeal to youth (such as cartoon characters) and the placement of commercial messages depicting smoking in a positive light in venues attracting substantial numbers of youth. Under the FDA’s 1996 Tobacco Rule, the ban applied to magazines with a youth readerships of greater than 15 percent. However, in light of the overt purpose of all non-informational tobacco advertising to make smoking appear to be attractive to smokers and nonsmokers alike, including youngsters and former smokers, the committee believes that all