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UGA study: Youth exposed to smokeless tobacco ads despite settlement
Date:10/4/2007

Athens, Ga. - A 1998 settlement designed to limit the marketing of smokeless tobacco to youth hasnt been effective, according to a new University of Georgia study published in the early online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

Exposure rates are significant and have been very stable over the past 10 years, said study co-author Dean Krugman, professor in the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. We need to be vigilant about what this industry is doing because of the health consequences and the fact that major cigarette marketers - R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris, which have heretofore not had smokeless products - are both introducing and test marketing smokeless products.

Krugman and co-authors Margie Morrison and Pumsoon Park found that in 1993 smokeless tobacco advertising in magazines reached 66 percent of youth ages 12 to 17. In 2002, the last year for which figures are available, the ads reached 64 percent of adolescents.

Major cigarette producers signed the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) in 1998 with the attorneys general from 46 states. Among other things, the settlement called for the elimination of billboard advertising, cartoons in tobacco advertising and marketing toward youth. The same year, a similar agreement known as the Smokeless Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (STMSA) was signed by the attorneys general and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, the largest smokeless tobacco manufacturer.

To gauge advertising exposure and whether smokeless tobacco companies have complied with the STMSA, Krugman and his colleagues analyzed data on readership and advertising in popular magazines over a 10-year period. The researchers identified magazines used by smokeless tobacco advertisers, including Rolling Stone, Spin, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News.

At both the beginning and the end of the study period, roughly two-thirds of youth were exposed to smokeless tobacco adve
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Contact: Sam Fahmy
sfahmy@uga.edu
706-542-5361
University of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert

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