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Pre-adolescent Receptivity to Tobacco Marketing and Its Relationship to Acquiring Friends Who Smoke and Cigarette Smoking Initiation.



This study extends research on receptivity to tobacco marketing over a key developmental period for cigarette smoking experimentation.


The purpose of this study was to understand the effect of receptivity to tobacco marketing and exposure to friends who smoke on smoking experimentation.


Participants were 10 to 13 years old who had never tried cigarettes (n = 878), interviewed six times at 8-month intervals.


At baseline, 25% percent of the 10 and 11 years old in the sample of never smokers were receptive to tobacco marketing, while less than 5% had friends who smoked. Having a friend who smoked at study baseline and acquiring such friends for the first time during the study were the strongest predictors of smoking experimentation. Initial receptivity to tobacco marketing increased the risk of smoking experimentation independently of having friends who smoke at baseline or acquiring friends who smoke throughout the study period.


The high level of receptivity observed even among 10 and 11 years old and its robust relationship with cigarette smoking experimentation independent of the significant risk associated with having friends who smoke suggests that successful prevention of receptivity may require intervention at an early age.

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