Campaigns that use urban culture and language to promote menthol cigarettes; hip-hop bar nights sponsored by tobacco with special menthol cigarette samples; advertisements associating tobacco use with healthy outdoor activities; the “for adults only” loophole; the Old Joe Camel campaign; print advertisements featuring models that smoke; direct mail promotion; and gender-specific campaigns are all examples of tobacco advertising. These methods of advertising undoubtedly contribute to the multiple and converging psychosocial influences that lead children and young people to start using these products and to become addicted to them. The conflicting conclusions drawn from studies on the influence of advertising on tobacco consumption should not be interpreted as evidence that advertising has little or no influence. Research has revealed an association between trends in the start of smoking by women and the sales of the main cigarette brands aimed at women through advertisements with images from 1944 to the mid-1980s.
The converging and substantial evidence that advertising and promotion increase tobacco consumption among young people is impressive and provides a solid basis for legal regulation. In order to reduce the impact of tobacco advertising on young people, Congress should repeal federal law that takes precedence over state regulation of the promotion and advertising of tobacco, which occurs entirely within state borders. Additionally, restrictions should be placed on the advertising of tobacco products, such as limiting it to a headstone format in print media, including magazines and newspapers, or in other visual media, such as videotapes, video discs, arcade video games or movies. It is clear that tobacco advertising has a significant impact on young people, leading them to start using these products and become addicted to them.
Therefore, it is essential that legal measures are taken to restrict the promotion and advertising of tobacco in order to protect young people from its harmful effects.