Tobacco advertisements have the potential to make smoking seem attractive to adolescents, which can lead to an increased desire to smoke. This is why many countries have implemented laws that limit the placement of tobacco outlets near schools and playgrounds, and prohibit gifts. Studies have shown that non-smoking adolescents who are more familiar with tobacco advertising or are more receptive to it are more likely to experiment with cigarettes or become smokers. In the United Kingdom, tobacco campaigns often use ambiguous visuals in their print ads and posters, such as the Silk Cut campaign.
This type of imagery can be used to reach children without directly addressing them, which would be met with opposition. Research has also shown that tobacco advertising at points of sale can increase positive images of brand users and increase the likelihood of impulse purchases. It is important to note that almost 9 out of 10 children are able to recognize the names of cigarette brands, even though tobacco is intended for adults and all forms of advertising in the media have been banned in Australia. However, there are few studies that have attempted to assess the potential impact of tobacco advertising in retail outlets.
Overall, it is clear that tobacco advertising has a significant effect on adolescents. It can make smoking seem appealing and increase positive images of brand users, which can lead to experimentation with cigarettes or becoming a smoker. Therefore, it is important for countries to continue to implement laws that limit the placement of tobacco outlets near schools and playgrounds, and prohibit gifts.