Medicopolitical Digest

Children are influenced by tobacco advertsBMA is concerned about management cost savingsSpecialist medical order should be in place in January 1996Fewer authorities will mean pounds sterling150m savings, says ministerNHS spending and national income

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 02 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1509

Children are influenced by tobacco adverts

  1. Linda Beecham

    Tobacco advertising has far more effect on children aged 11 to 14 than on adults, according to new data released by the BMA. The data, which compare the top 10 brands advertised with those smoked by children and adults, show that three out of four of the most heavily advertised brands also appear in the top four brands smoked by children. These top four brands account for 77% of the total advertising budget for tobacco. Adults are less sensitive to advertising with only two of the four most heavily advertised brands appearing in their top four favourite brands. They tend to be more influenced by price.

    The head of health policy at the BMA, Dr Vivienne Nathanson, says, “This is conclusive evidence that tobacco advertising persuades children to smoke and scuppers any argument from the tobacco industry that advertising is about brand loyalty. With teenage smoking above 10% for the first time in 12 years and smoking on the increase particularly among young girls, the need for a tobacco advertising ban has never been greater.”

    BMA is concerned about management cost savings

    The BMA has told the health secretary of the association's concern that the insistence on reducing health authorities' management costs by pounds sterling140m (set out in the executive letter EL(95)85) could lead to a reduction in public health establishments. In his letter to Mr Stephen Dorrell the chairman of the BMA council, Dr Sandy Macara, says that in one case a public health department is to …

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