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June 24, 1992

Tobacco: Promotion and Smoking-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Massachusetts Medical Center Fitchburg
Medical College of Georgia Augusta
University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha
University of New Mexico School of Medicine Albuquerque
University of Washington Seattle

JAMA. 1992;267(24):3282-3283. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480240044019

In Reply.  —Teens and preteens somehow get the idea that smoking makes one sexy, athletic, cool, or macho. The tobacco industry says these ideas come from their peers. No one asks where these peers—other kids—get these ideas. Yet, about the only place in our society where these silly images occur is advertising. So-called peer pressure explains little. It is merely a clever term used to shift blame from the manufacturer and advertiser to the user. Like peer pressure, "parental example" does not just spontaneously occur. Parents of today started smoking as children, and no doubt had similar silly ideas about what smoking would do for their images.So few parents used spitting tobacco two decades ago that parental example cannot be used to explain the current epidemic of spitting tobacco use among children.1 The dramatic increase in the number of children addicted to this form of tobacco followed an