Essay on Tobacco Advertising

1910 Words8 Pages
To say that tobacco advertising stimulates tobacco sales may seem a simple and moderate statement. In reality, tobacco control activists often meet serious opposition in defending this fact. Achieving the restriction or banning of tobacco advertising is one of the fiercest battles to face. Tobacco lobbyists usually assert that advertising does not increase the overall quantity of tobacco sold. Rather, the tobacco industry maintains that advertising merely enhances the market share of a particular brand, without recruiting new smokers.

These arguments are not always easy to counter. This Factsheet gives health advocates the arguments and research data needed to face well-prepared tobacco lobbyists in public debate. The data
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A recent meta-analysis of 48 econometric studies found that tobacco advertising significantly increased tobacco sales ([2]). Recent reviews by the United States Institute of Medicine ([3]), the United States Department of Health and Human Services ([4]) and the World Health Organisation ([5]) reached the same conclusion.

Research within a country before and after an ad ban
These studies compare tobacco consumption before and after a complete ban on advertising, controlling for other factors. Although such studies may be complicated by inadequate of data collection or poor implementation of the ban, they have yielded convincing data that a complete ban on advertising makes an important contribution towards reducing smoking prevalence.

Selected studies are summarised in the table below.

Country, year Description of anti-tobacco measures Effect
Norway, 1975
Complete ban on advertising and sponsoring, coupled with health warnings, public information and age limits on sales
Long-term reduction of smoking prevalence by 9% ([6], [7])

Finland, 1977
Complete ad ban, no smoking in public buildings, age limit on sales, strong public information campaigns
Reduction of cigarette consumption of 6.7% (6)

Canada, 1989
Complete ban on advertising and sponsoring, with higher tobacco prices
Corrected for price increases, a long-term reduction of smoking
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