Awareness of tobacco marketing communications
Young people are very aware of tobacco marketing. Table shows “prompted” awareness of different marketing techniques—that is, respondents were asked whether they had come across specific, named types of marketing, such as advertisements in magazines or newspapers or special price offers for cigarettes.
Number (percentage) of 15 and 16 year olds aware of tobacco marketing
Nearly all had seen cigarette advertising on billboards, and over half had come across it in the press. All had seen some form of advertising at point of sale, and around half were aware of coupon schemes and special price offers for cigarettes.
Other forms of promotion were less familiar. Around a fifth of the sample had come across brand stretching (clothing or other items with cigarette logos on), new pack designs or sizes, free gifts offered on packets, competitions, and famous people smoking in films and on television. There was also awareness, at a lower level, of free gifts from the shopkeeper, promotional mail from cigarette companies, internet sites, and the distribution of free cigarettes.
Young smokers were more aware of virtually all forms of tobacco marketing than were non-smokers or those who had tried smoking (table ). This trend was particularly noticeable for free gifts, special price offers, promotional mail, and pack design.
Involvement with tobacco marketing
Involvement with tobacco marketing was broadly similar for both male and female respondents (table ). Many had actively participated in tobacco marketing—for example, by using coupon schemes or receiving direct mail. Over half of current smokers had participated in tobacco marketing of one form or another, compared with around a quarter of non-smokers and those who had tried smoking. Almost a third of smokers had received free gifts through coupon schemes, over a quarter had received special price offers for cigarettes and around a tenth had received free gifts at events or had been exposed to promotional mail.
Number (percentage) of 15 and 16 year olds involved with tobacco marketing
Association between awareness of tobacco marketing and smoking status
Table shows the association between awareness of each tobacco marketing technique and current smoking status when other variables that are known to be linked with teenage smoking were controlled for. Awareness of coupon schemes and brand stretching were both associated with the greater probability of being a current smoker, as was having friends, siblings, or a mother who smoked. In this model, having friends who smoke was most strongly associated with being a current smoker.
Logistic regression analysis of variables associated with odds of being a current smoker in relation to types of tobacco marketing
The number of tobacco marketing techniques of which young people were aware was positively related to current smoking status (table ). Having friends, siblings, or a mother who smoked was associated with a greater probability of being a current smoker.
Logistic regression analysis of variables associated with odds of being a current smoker in relation to amount of tobacco marketing