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June 24, 1992

Tobacco: Promotion and Smoking

JAMA. 1992;267(24):3282. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480240044018

To the Editor.  —DiFranza et al1 and Pierce et al2 show that Camel cigarette advertising inclines young smokers to choose that brand. Yet from 1986 to 1990, coincident with Camel's promotion of its Old Joe logo, neither national surveys3 nor the authors' own data show any real growth in teenage smoking. The comparison by Pierce et al of 1986 US and 1990 California data also indicates that the switch to Camels did not coincide with any smoking increase among 18- to 29-year-olds compared with older age groups. The five-state sample of DiFranza et al further shows that despite exposure of nearly all youth to $3 billion in deceptively alluring cigarette ads every year, 70% to 80% continue to reject smoking, as in prior years. Alarms of a new army of advertising-recruited child smokers are unwarranted by the available evidence.The literature is replete with exuberant findings, later