|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||Contact: Beverly|
|Wednesday, April 14, 1999||Jackson|
STUDY SHOWS THREE CIGARETTE BRANDS DOMINATE YOUTH SMOKING
The Department of Health and Human Services today released findings indicating that Marlboro (Philip Morris), Newport (Lorillard), and Camel (RJR/Nabisco) are by far the cigarette brands used most by teens who are current smokers.
Some 88 percent of 12th graders, 86 percent of 10th graders, and 82 percent of 8th graders who currently smoke cigarettes use these three brands, which have been among the most heavily advertised and promoted brands.
The clearly dominant brand of the three is Marlboro. By the time they finish high school, nearly two thirds (65.2 percent) of current smokers use Marlboro. And, despite the strong male orientation of its advertising themes, Marlboro is as popular among girls as among boys. An additional 13 percent of current smokers in 12th grade regularly use Newport and nearly 10 percent of 12th graders use Camel.
Vice President Al Gore along with HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala announced the survey findings at separate events in conjunction with the fourth annual Kick Butts Day, a nationwide initiative designed to curb tobacco use among children and adolescents.
"Each day, nearly 3,000 children become regular smokers, and almost 1,000 of them will die prematurely as a result of their cigarette smoking," said Secretary Shalala, who participated in a Kick Butts Day event in Washington, D.C. "For the past five years, the Clinton Administration has been working hard to crack down on tobacco advertising aimed at children, and to protect our young people from the dangers of tobacco. Now we need Congress to help us finish the job, by increasing the price of tobacco products, and by devoting new resources to anti-smoking programs across the country."
The cigarette brand findings are from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, an annual survey of illicit drug, alcohol, and cigarette use among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, which is conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.
The data on brand preferences are from the 1998 MTF survey, and are based on respondents who smoked one or more cigarettes in the prior month. Some 50,000 students in over 400 public and private secondary schools nationwide participated in the survey last spring, and more than 7,000 students were asked about their brand usage.
The 1998 MTF survey also found notable preferences among African-American youth for Newport, and among white students for Marlboro.
More than 80 percent of African-American 12th graders who were current smokers in 1998 used Newport, and more than 70 percent of them in both the 8th and 10th grades used Newport. Newport is a mentholated cigarette heavily marketed to the African-American community.
Some 70 percent of white 12th graders who were current smokers in 1998 used Marlboro, and more than 60 percent of white students in both the 8th and 10th grades used this brand. In all three grades, Newport and Marlboro were just as popular among girls as among boys.
The number of current smokers answering the brand preference question at each grade level was 2,050 at the 8th grade, 7,710 at the 10th grade, and 2,330 at the 12th grade. The brand preference question asks, "What brand of cigarettes do you usually smoke?" Beginning in 1999, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will include questions about usual brand use for cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco products in their annual National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.
The MTF study also found that students who smoked more frequently during the past month are more likely to have a usual brand of choice. Additionally, after the three most popular brands, each of the other 20 cigarette brands listed on the survey is smoked by less than 2 percent of students, and most of these, by much less.
Kick Butts Day is organized annually by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a gateway.html organization, and involves young people nationwide staging a variety of anti-tobacco activities, such as testifying before state legislatures, exposing tobacco sales to minors, and dumping merchandise containing tobacco brand-name logos into garbage dumpsters.
The full Monitoring the Future report, including the survey on youth cigarette brand use, is available on the Internet at http://www.nida.nih.gov.
Note: HHS press releases are available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.dhhs.gov.