Latest figures show that the number of teenagers smoking is still on the increase, especially amongst young girls. Until its ban in the UK two years ago, the main culprit for its steady increase had to be tobacco advertising. For the frightening array of methods that tobacco companies use to target children, check out Ash.
Now there is an advertising war on, and the Government is fighting back. Their heavy campaigning seems to be having an effect on adults, amongst whom smoking is steadily declining. But commentators do not seem to know quite how to target children and teenagers. Efforts at education appear sporadic and ham-fisted.
It probably comes down to the old reverse psychology. The more you tell a teenager not to do something the more rebellious it feels to do it. Let’s just hope that the UK ban on advertising has some trickle down effect to children as well.
> From BBC News
Published: 24 September 2004