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December 11, 1991

Kids' Concept of Cigarette Code

Author Affiliations

Chenery Middle School Belmont, Mass

Chenery Middle School Belmont, Mass

JAMA. 1991;266(22):3126. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470220042013

To the Editor.  —Cigarette companies have a voluntary code not to advertise to children,1 and they claim that their advertisements do not encourage children to smoke.2 The code says that models in advertisements shall appear to be over 25 years old, that the advertisements won't suggest that the models' attractiveness and good health are due to smoking, and that models shall not appear to have just participated "in a physical activity requiring stamina beyond normal recreation." The purpose of my science project was to find out if cigarette advertising reached children in my age group (12 and 13 years) and if the code protected children.I asked the 22 members of my seventh-grade class what magazines they read most often and found that 70% read magazines that advertise cigarettes. I then cut out cigarette advertisements from past issues of the top