Cigarette ads increase teen smoking: study

Advertisements for cigarettes make adolescents more likely to begin smoking, indicates a study published in the August issue of Pediatrics.

The study focused on 1,681 children 11-14 years old who had never smoked. Researchers from Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, monitored how often the teens visited convenience, liquor and small grocery stores, and assessed the stores' level of cigarette advertisements and pack displays. Overall, 18 percent of study participants began smoking, but the rate was found to be related to cigarette ad exposure.

Teens who visited stores with a high level of cigarette ads less than twice a month reported a 9 percent smoking initiation rate, compared with a 29 percent smoking rate among those who visited such stores at least twice a week.

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