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Effect of sports sponsorship by tobacco companies on children's experimentation with tobacco

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 17 August 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:400
  1. Sharad G Vaidya, honorary secretarya,
  2. U D Naik, research officera,
  3. Jayant S Vaidya, research fellowb
  1. a Goa Cancer Society, Denis Apartments, Lake View Colony, Miramar, Panaji, Goa 403001, India
  2. b Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Bombay 400 012, India
  1. Correspondence to: Dr S G Vaidya, Academic Department of Surgery, Royal Marsden Hospital, London SW3 6JJ.

    Tobacco companies often seem to direct their advertising campaigns at adolescents—for example, the campaign using the cartoon character Joe Camel.1 These advertisements are thought to influence adolescents' perceptions and behaviour,2 and sponsorship of sports events by tobacco companies may have the same effect.3 We studied the effect of sports sponsorship on children's experimentation with tobacco.

    Subjects, methods, and results

    The India-New Zealand cricket series, which was televised live in India during October-November 1995, was sponsored by the tobacco company Wills (a subsidiary of British America Tobacco Company) and the logo was prominently displayed on the outfits of the players and at the ground. Four Square cigarettes, and Manikchand Gutkha, a smokeless tobacco product, were also advertised.

    We randomly selected one class of year IX from all 53 high schools in urban Goa. The 1948 students in these classes (total of 5362 children in year IX) were …

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