Study snuffs tobacco company's claims.Byline: Greg Bolt The Register-Guard
A study by an Oregon State University Oregon State University, at Corvallis; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1858 as Corvallis College, opened 1865. In 1868 it was designated Oregon's land-grant agricultural college and was taken over completely by the state in 1885. researcher and his colleagues suggests that anti-smoking ads paid for by the tobacco industry and targeted at youth and their parents not only don't work but might actually encourage teens to smoke.
Brian Flay flay
to strip off the skin. , a professor in OSU's department of public health, was one of nine researchers who studied tobacco industry ads aimed at preventing youth smoking and said that at best they don't have any effect. And he said some, particularly those aimed at parents, had the opposite effect.
"It actually encourages it, especially when kids see those ads targeted to parents," Flay said. "If they see those, there's a 12 percent increase in the likelihood they'll become smokers."
That's a conclusion that is strongly contested by cigarette maker Philip Morris USA Philip Morris USA is the United States tobacco division of Altria Group, Inc. General information
On January 27, 2003, Philip Morris Companies Inc. changed its name to Altria Group, Inc. Even under this new name, Altria continues to own 100% of Philip Morris USA. , which says it not only has spent $1 billion to develop and disseminate dis·sem·i·nate
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.
2. effective advertising aimed at deterring youth smoking but also has research that shows that it works. It says the ads are based on widely accepted research and don't carry any hidden messages.
"There's nothing in our research that raises the concerns indicated in the study," said David Sutton
The new study appears in this month's issue of the American Journal of Public Health The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) is a peer reviewed monthly journal of the American Public Health Association (APHA). The Journal also regularly publishes authoritative editorials and commentaries and serves as a forum for the analysis of health policy. . The lead author is Melanie Wakefield of the Center for Behavioral Research in Cancer in Melbourne, Australia.
Researchers surveyed more than 100,000 youths in grades eight, 10 and 12 and focused on anti-smoking campaigns by Philip Morris that ran from 1999 to 2003. It used Nielsen Media Research data to determine the prevalence of anti-smoking ads and surveys conducted by schools to determine youth attitudes and perceptions about smoking during that period.
The ads aimed at youths used the slogan A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a political, commercial, religious and other context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose.
Slogans vary from the written and the visual to the chanted and the vulgar. "Think. Don't smoke" and told teens that they didn't have to smoke to fit in. Those targeting parents urged them to talk with their children about the hazards of smoking using the slogan "Talk. They'll listen."
Flay said researchers were immediately skeptical of the industry campaign, if only because of its history of covering up and lying about the detrimental det·ri·men·tal
Causing damage or harm; injurious.
detri·men health effects of smoking. But this was the first time anyone has tried to measure the effect of youth- and parent-targeted anti-smoking advertising by tobacco companies.
Earlier research on anti-smoking ads sponsored by states and the American Legacy Foundation The American Legacy Foundation (ALF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing teen smoking and encouraging smokers to quit. showed that those efforts helped deter youth smoking. The foundation is a national anti-smoking group funded with proceeds from the massive settlement that ended lawsuits brought by the states against tobacco companies.
But industry ads seem to have the opposite of their intended effect, Flay said. Those aimed directly at youth resulted in a 3 percent stronger intention to smoke among all age groups, and those aimed at parents but watched by their children resulted in a 12 percent increase in the likelihood that 10th- and 12th-graders would become smokers.
The study didn't look directly at the content of state-sponsored and industry-sponsored ads to determine why they seem to have opposite effects. But Flay said the studies show a clear difference.
Flay noted that state-sponsored ads tend to emphasize the significant health dangers of smoking while pointing out the industry's history of manipulating information.
"When kids see the state-sponsored ads, they are more likely to perceive smoking as harmful, they are less likely to have friends who smoke ... and are less likely to become smokers themselves," he said.
"Proper anti-smoking ads work. Tobacco industry ones backfire."
Sutton disputed that. He said research by Philip Morris showed that 61 percent of parents with children between ages 10 and 17 reported seeing one or more of its ads, and that of those, 61 percent reported that they talked to their children about not smoking as a result.
He pointed out that the ads aimed at parents aren't intended to influence children and said they are based on accepted research done by independent scientists. He also noted that all of the company's ad campaigns are reviewed by a parent advisory board headed by Dr. Lawrence Kutner of Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School (HMS) is one of the graduate schools of Harvard University. It is a prestigious American medical school located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. .
"There's an extensive body of research and subject matter expertise out there telling not only Philip Morris USA but also a lot of other organizations that parents are the single most important influencer on their kids' behavior and that by talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to parents that is a way to help them influence what their kids are doing, such as smoking, which we don't want them to do," Sutton said.
The message in industry ads targeting youth is that it's not legal to smoke until a person is 18 and that smoking won't make a person popular.
The study notes that the director of Philip Morris' youth smoking prevention program testified in one trial the company's goal was to delay smoking until age 18, while state-sponsored ads urged people never to smoke. Flay said the researchers were not surprised to find that industry anti-smoking advertising increased students' desire to smoke.
"They want to show adults in the world that they're being good citizens," he said. "But at the same time we suspected, and these data support, that what they did was not going to reduce the likelihood of kids starting to smoke. So it's a win-win for them."
The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a United States federal-government research institute whose mission is to "lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction. and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, charitable organization devoted exclusively to health care issues. It was established in 1936 by Robert Wood Johnson (1893–1968), board chairman of the Johnson & Johnson medical products company. . The research team is part of Bridging the Gap, a joint program based at the University of Illinois at Chicago This article is about the University of Illinois at Chicago. For other uses, see University of Illinois at Chicago (disambiguation).
UIC participates in NCAA Division I Horizon League competition as the UIC Flames in several sports, most notably Basketball. and the University of Michigan (body, education) University of Michigan - A large cosmopolitan university in the Midwest USA. Over 50000 students are enrolled at the University of Michigan's three campuses. The students come from 50 states and over 100 foreign countries. that focuses on youth health issues and public policy.