Advertising and Smoking


Tobacco advertisers have a long history of using cartoon imagery and other persuasive techniques in order to appeal to young consumers. These trends have continued even as tobacco use has declined and as vaping and e-cigarette use have increased. Use this guide as a starting point into the evidence behind the effects of smoking advertising on youth.

Books & Chapters

Mass Media and Health: Examining Media Impact on Individuals and the Health Environment (2017)
This book investigates the ways in which youth and adults interact with mass media, and includes a chapter about the negative health impacts of tobacco advertising (see chapter 3).

Media Literacy and Smoking (2019)
This book focuses on the effects of media on adolescent smoking and how education on media influence may alter their perceptions and decisions on smoking.


Addictive Behaviors
American Journal of Preventative Medicine
American Journal of Public Health
Journal of Adolescent Health
Journal of Children and Media (JOCAM)
Nicotine & Tobacco Research
Tobacco Control
Tobacco Use Insights


Crosby K., et al. (2019). Bringing “The Real Cost” to life through breakthrough, evidence-based advertising. Am J Prev Med 56(2S1), S16-S23. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2018.08.024.

Duke, J. C., et al. (2014). Exposure to electronic cigarette television advertisements among youth and young adults. Pediatrics 134(1), e29-e36.

Hanewinkel, R., et al. (2010). Cigarette advertising and adolescent smoking. Am J Prev Med 38(4), 359-366.

Huang, J., et al. (2019). Vaping versus JUULing: how the extraordinary growth and marketing of JUUL transformed the US retail e-cigarette market. Tob Control 28(2), 146-151.

Padon, A. A., Maloney, E. K., & Cappella, J. N. (2017). Youth-targeted e-cigarette marketing in the US. Tob Regul Sci, 3(1), 95–101. doi:10.18001/TRS.3.1.9

Pechmann, C. and E. T. Reibling (2000). Anti-smoking advertising campaigns targeting youth: case studies from USA and Canada. Tob Control 9(suppl 2), ii18-i31.

Petrescu DC, Vasiljevic M, Pepper JK, et al (2017). What is the impact of e-cigarette adverts on children’s perceptions of tobacco smoking? An experimental study. Tob Control,26, 421-427.

Pierce, J. P., et al. (2017). Receptivity to tobacco advertising and susceptibility to tobacco products. Pediatrics 139(6), e20163353.

Rucker, J., et. al. (2015). Problematic internet use is associated with substance use in young adolescents. Acta Paediatrica 194(5), 504-7. doi: 10.1111/apa.12971

Shadel, W. G., Tharp-Taylor, S., & Fryer, C. S. (2008). Exposure to cigarette advertising and adolescents’ intentions to smoke: the moderating role of the developing self-concept. J Pediatr Psychol 33(7), 751–760. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsn025

Singh, T., et al. (2016). Exposure to advertisements and electronic cigarette use among US middle and high school students. Pediatrics 137(5): e20154155.


The Real Cost
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s anti-tobacco campaign site, aimed to education teens and young adults.

Healthy Children
Sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Healthy Children site is built for parents looking for research-based techniques to keep their families healthy. Their site has pages specific to cigarette advertisements and vaping.

Tobacco-Free Kids
This non-profit site aims to inform about child smoking and vaping, and advocates for a tobacco-free society. Their Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship page provides research-based facts about child-targeted tobacco advertising.

American Lung Association: Tobacco Industry Marketing
The American Lung Association’s fact sheet about tobacco advertisement, including a page specifically on kids and smoking.

Tobacco Industry Marketing
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s fact sheet including tobacco marketing statistics and demographics. They also have a page specific to E-Cigarette advertising.

Researchers of Note

Christina Akre
James Sarget
Joan-Carles Surís

Policies & Guidelines

The Call to Action on E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults
Center for Disease Control and Prevention


Exposure to Electronic Cigarette Advertising Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2014–2016
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Health Canada Statement on Use of Vaping Products by Youth
Government of Canada

Notes from the Field: Use of Electronic Cigarettes and Any Tobacco Product Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011–2018
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Smoking in Top-Grossing US Movies 2018
Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education