Cigarette advertising has been found to have a significant effect on young people's perceptions of the prevalence, image, and purpose of smoking. Studies have shown that the more adolescents and teens are exposed to tobacco advertising, the more likely they are to start smoking. Big tobacco companies often use magazines and publications that are popular with children to spread their message. Scientific evidence indicates that the advertising and promotion of tobacco companies can influence young people to begin using tobacco.
Tobacco advertisements and promotions are frequently seen in convenience stores, gas stations, and other retail outlets that are frequented by young people, including some retailers with pharmacies. Despite the progress made in tobacco prevention and control over the past 50 years, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and correlations of support, opposition, and neutrality towards policies that would limit the advertising and placement of tobacco products in retail outlets and on social networks. Tobacco companies have been known to target young people as potential replacement smokers through aggressive advertising campaigns.
There has been less research done on public opinion regarding policies that restrict the placement of tobacco products and advertising at points of sale or on social networks. The tobacco industry has deliberately misled the public about the risks of smoking, which has contributed to conflicting perspectives on tobacco control policy measures. Women are also a target for the tobacco industry, as they continue to produce brands specifically for women. Public health experts have proposed banning point-of-sale advertising and product displays as successful strategies for tobacco control in other countries.
These policies have been proven to be effective in reducing smoking rates, yet there is still a lack of understanding among the public about their benefits.