Cigarette advertising and women's magazines - Tips from Other Journals

Date: June, 1992

In the countries of the European Community, cigarette smoking is responsible for the deaths of over 106,000 women each year. In these countries, 34 percent of women 15 to 24 years of age are smokers. In several countries, smoking is more prevalent among teenage females than among teenage males. The tobacco industry has directed advertising at women, and magazine advertising is one of the primary strategies. Women's magazines have wide readership in Europe; approximately 50 percent of women of all age groups and social backgrounds read these magazines. Amos and Bostock surveyed European women's magazines to assess the coverage of smoking and health issues, the use of smoking images in editorial pages and whether cigarette advertising is accepted.

Seventy-one of the 95 magazines contacted responded to the survey. Of these, 49 (69 percent) reported that they accepted cigarette advertising. Only five magazines voluntarily refused cigarette advertisements. The remaining magazines conformed with national regulations regarding cigarette advertising. Forty percent of the magazines had no restrictions on using photographs of models or famous personalities smoking cigarettes in the editorial copy. Only 14 (22 percent) of the magazines reported publishing a major article (at least one page in length) on the health effects smoking. Only one magazine refused tobacco advertising, avoided showing positive images of smoking in articles and regularly informed readers of the dangers of smoking. Editors were generally reluctant to give their views on cigarette advertising, but several thought that it might encourage young women to smoke.

The authors conclude that a Europe-wide ban on cigarette promotion is needed. Governments should ban direct and indirect advertising and ensure adequate funding of health promotion agencies. (BMJ, January 11, 1992, vol. 304, p. 99).

COPYRIGHT 1992 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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