Study Finds Overseas Tobacco Advertising Reaches Very Young Children

Tobacco marketing reaches children as young as 5 years old influencing their attitudes about smoking and smokers, according to a study of children in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Russia recently published in the journal Child: Care, Health & Development. The research study, led by Dr. Dina Borzekowski, research professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland adds to her body of work on the impact of media on children’s health.

The research team assessed the children’s level of familiarity with tobacco branding, their intention to smoke in the future, and their overall exposure to media.  Among 5-and-6-year-old children in the six counties, nearly 68 percent were able to identify one tobacco logo and more than 25 percent could identify two or more. Higher levels of media exposure were not necessarily associated with better knowledge of tobacco brands. However, in three of the sample countries the presence of an adult in the home was also not a significant factor in brand knowledge, suggesting that advertising plays a role in the exposure of very young children to tobacco brands and smoking behavior.

Although tobacco companies face weaker regulations overseas, they spent $9.6 billion on advertising in the United States in 2012.  A U.S. Surgeon General’s report suggests that these companies continue to target marketing to American adolescents, portraying smoking or smokeless tobacco use as a desirable behavior. Considering the approximately 3.5 middle and high school students who used tobacco in 2012, it’s working.

Extensive information about tobacco marketing and promotion is available at the Stanford Research Into the Impact of Advertising (SRITA) webpage.

 

 

Study Citation: Pires, P. P., Ribas, R. C.,  Borzekowski, D. L. G. (2015).  Attitudes and intentions to smoke: a study of young Brazilian children. Child: Care, Health and Development.1365-2214 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cch.12240

 

SAMHSA Report Holds Useful Data on Behavioral Health in Pennsylvania

SAMHSA's The National Behavioral Health Barometer looks at trends and snapshots of American mental health, drug and alcohol dependency and substance use.
SAMHSA’s National Behavioral Health Barometer looks at recent data on mental health, drug and alcohol dependency and substance use.

Last week the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced a new report containing a wealth of data on American’s behavioral health, both overall and at the state level.  The National Behavioral Health Barometer looks at mental illness, alcohol dependency, illicit drug use, treatment rates and perceptions of the dangers of substance use. This timely trend and snapshot data – particularly those from the state reports – might be helpful for your upcoming grant writing, business planning,  or community initiative proposals.

Highlights from the national report:

  • In 2012, approximately 4 percent of adults had a severe mental illness the year prior to the survey.
  • In 2012, more females 12 to 17 years old (13.7 percent) reported a major depressive episode in the year prior than males (4.7 percent), and 37 percent of youths received treatment for depression within the year prior to being surveyed.
  • Between 2008 and 2012, cigarette use among youths (across all racial groups) declined from 9.2 to 6.6. percent.
  • In 2012, people between 18 and 25 years of age reported the highest rate of alcohol dependence/abuse (14.3 percent). The rate of alcohol dependency of those over age 12 decreased overall between 2008 (7.4 percent) and 2012 (6.8 percent).

Highlights from the Pennsylvania report:

  •  The rate of adults in Pennsylvania having a severe mental illness in 2012 was the same as the national rate. The majority of adults served in the Commonwealth’s public mental health system were unemployed (70 percent) followed by those not in the workforce (20.6 percent).  The percentages of both adults and youths reporting improvement after treatment in the public mental health system were lower than the national rate.
  • Similar to the national level data, in 2012, 8.7 percent of Pennsylvania youth ages 12 to 17 reported a past year major depressive episode.  40.4 percent received treatment for depression during that time period.
  • Although the percentage of Pennsylvania youth who smoke cigarettes declined since 2008, in 2012 it remained above the national rate –  8.8 percent compared to 7.2 percent. The mean age of first cigarette use among Pennsylvania youth was 14 years old.
  • In 2012, 37.1 percent of Pennsylvania youth did not perceive great risk  from smoking one or more packs of cigarettes daily, an increase from 2008 (34.3 percent) and above the national rate of 34.1 percent.
  • Pennsylvania’s rate of alcohol dependency/abuse and rate of illicit drug dependency/abuse among people age 12 and over remained stable between the years of 2008-2012 and were similar to the national rates.

Copies of the national publication and all state reports are available for download at the SAMHSA website.

 

Photo Credit:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Barometer: United States,2013. HHS Publication No. SMA-13-4796. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.

Report Citations:   Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Barometer: United States,2013. HHS Publication No. SMA-13-4796. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Barometer: Pennsylvania, 2013. HHS Publication No. SMA-13-4796PA. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.

 

Does Knowledge of Health Risks Reduce Teen Smoking?

Fewer adolescents are smoking cigarettes even though their attitudes about the risks associated with smoking have not decreased, according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The report, State Estimates of Adolescent Cigarette Use and Perceptions of Risk of Smoking: 2009 and 2010  describes the beneficial impact of smoking prevention and education programming on adolescent smoking rates, although the impact was not apparent in all states.

Ohio and West Virginia were among states with the highest rates of teenage smokers (11.2 and 11.9 percent respectively) though both saw their rates decrease significantly since 2002-03. In Pennsylvania, 10.3 percent of adolescents reported they had smoked in the past month according to the 2009-10 data, another significant decrease from 2002.  Overall, 44 states in the county experienced significant decreases in adolescent smoking during this decade.

Nationally, the adolescent rate of perceived health risk from smoking a pack of cigarettes daily increased from 63.7 percent in 2002-03 to 65.4 percent in 2009-2010. Only five states saw significant growth in the amount of teens who perceived a great risk from smoking cigarettes daily as well as a significant decline in their rate of smoking.

 

 

 

Citation: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Report: State Estimates of Adolescent Cigarette Use and Perceptions of Risk from Smoking: 2009 and 2010. Rockville, MD

Start Younger with Tobacco Prevention Programs?

A new report, from the U.S. Surgeon General highlights the challenges in communicating the dangers of smoking to students and young adults. The publication, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General, found that the trend of decreasing tobacco use has greatly slowed or stopped among young people. Other findings include,

  • Nearly 1/4 of high school seniors are smokers.
  • Use of several tobacco products concurrently is not uncommon among youth, almost 33 percent of high school females and over 50 percent of high school males report using multiple tobacco products in the past month.
  • Of adults who are daily smokers, 88 percent had  their first cigarette before age 18. Less than 1 percent of adults start smoking after age 25.
  • Marketing and promotions by tobacco companies lead to youth experimentation with and continuation of smoking. Cigarette marketing budgets are now 48% more than they were  in 1998.

This data illustrate the continued importance of tobacco prevention activities aimed at school-age youth, but the campaign against smoking may need to be expanded to include an even younger target audience to counteract new marketing strategies.

 

 

Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: 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, 2012.