For a study in the October 2013 Pediatrics, researchers
worked one-on-one with more than 2,400 5- and 6-year-olds in Brazil, China,
India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Russia, asking them to match logos with pictures
of products. Eight cigarette brand logos were included. Overall, 68 percent of
the children could identify at least one cigarette brand logo. The study,
“International Reach of Tobacco Marketing Among Young Children,” published
online Sept. 30, found that across all six of these low- and middle-income
countries, being slightly older and having someone in the household who uses
tobacco were both significantly associated with being able to identify at least
one cigarette brand logo. Previous studies have shown that youth with high
exposure and awareness levels to tobacco marketing are more likely to smoke.
The authors of this study suggest that stronger regulations need to be
instituted and better enforced in these countries where tobacco companies have
made great efforts to encourage uptake of their products. Some actions
suggested include removing logos from product packaging, change the quantity,
location and types of tobacco retailers and establishing minimum distances
between the retailers and places frequented by young children. The authors also
suggest changing how onscreen smoking images reach children and alerting
parents and guardians to this “mature content” in programming.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000
primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and
pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and
well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more
information, visit www.aap.org.