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UCSD Researcher Finds Cigarette Ads Targeted Teen Girls

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Aired 3/15/10

A new study from UCSD finds a 2007 marketing campaign for Camel cigarettes was effective in encouraging teenage girls to smoke. The ads apparently violated a tobacco industry agreement that prohibited companies from targeting kids.

— A new study from UCSD finds a 2007 marketing campaign for Camel cigarettes was effective in encouraging teenage girls to smoke. The ads apparently violated a tobacco industry agreement that prohibited companies from targeting kids.

The ads for Camel No. 9 ran in five of the most popular magazines among teen girls, including Glamour and Vogue. The ads showed cigarette packs in hot-pink fuchsia. Some promotional giveaways included cell phone jewelry.

The UCSD study shows after the campaign was launched, the percentage of teen girls who had a favorite cigarette ad jumped by ten points.

Researcher John Pierce says Camel accounted for most of the increase.

"We didn't see anything else in this period from any cigarette brand that showed a spike like we saw when this brand was launched," Pierce says.

Dr. Pierce says his research shows 40 percent of kids who identify a favorite cigarette ad will start smoking.