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The Effect of E-cigarette Commercials on Youth Smoking: A Prospective Study

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Objectives: In this study, we assessed whether commercials for electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) influence the use of e-cigarettes, cigarettes, and cigars among high-risk youth in southern California. Methods: We recruited students (N = 1060) from 29 alternative high schools into a prospective cohort study. We used multilevel Poisson regression models to examine whether exposure to e-cigarette commercials and perceptions of their appeal predicted increased use of e-cigarettes, cigarettes, and cigars one year later. We also tested the potential moderating effect of gender and ethnicity. Results: Models with and without covariates suggest that exposure to e-cigarette commercials is a statistically significant predictor of increased use of e-cigarettes. When gender was added to the models as a moderator, the relationships between commercial exposure and future use of e-cigarettes and cigars were found to be stronger among females. Unadjusted and adjusted models also indicated that students with favorable perceptions of e-cigarette commercials reported greater use of e-cigarettes, cigarettes, and cigars one year later. Conclusions: E-cigarette commercials may play an important role in persuading high-risk youth to use nicotine and tobacco products. Extending the Broadcast Advertising Ban of 1971 to include a broader range of products may be critical to preventing future generations from becoming addicted to nicotine.
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Keywords: CIGARETTES; CIGARS; ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES; TOBACCO ADVERTISING; TOBACCO CONTROL

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: James Russell Pike, School of Community and Global Health, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA;, Email: [email protected] 2: Nasya Tan, School of Community and Global Health, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA 3: Stephen Miller, School of Community and Global Health, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA 4: Christopher Cappelli, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 5: Bin Xie, School of Community and Global Health, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA 6: Alan W Stacy, School of Community and Global Health, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA

Publication date: November 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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