“Looking at you makes me want to try”: Cigarette ads; exposure and students’ smoking onset
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Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Center for Innovative Government and Society Studies
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Rizanna Rosemary   

Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A270
The steadily increase of youth smokers in Banda Aceh (44%) was contributed by the failing of existing district regulation called Qanun Kota Banda Aceh tentang Kawasan Tanpa Rokok or District Regulation on Smoke-Free Areas (No.5/2016) to hamper massive and appealing tobacco marketing; made up of advertising, promotion, and sponsorship (TAPS) remains accessible in all forms in outdoor areas (posters, billboards, LCD screens), in sales spaces, and even in direct promotion and marketing of cigarettes by salesgirls targeting mostly youth.

Adolescents are the primary target of the tobacco industries’ marketing. Young people are vulnerable to the adverse effects of smoking, yet this remains under-documented. The study aims to assess and investigate the exposure of tobacco advertisements to adolescents’ probability to start smoking.

We carried out a mixed-method using the Linear Probability Model (LPM) test to measure the relationship between being exposed to tobacco advertisements with the probability of students becoming a smoker. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) taken to qualitatively explore the effect of cigarette advertising on students’ smoking behavior. The study is 365 students from 17 senior high schools in Banda Aceh City, Indonesia.

The study found that cigarette advertising has a positive and significant effect on high school students’ smoking behavior in Banda Aceh City. The presence of cigarette ads on billboards located near the school adds the probability of students smoking onset by 12.4 percent, whereas the cigarette ads on banners increase the probability by 18.4 percent. However, students claimed that besides advertising, peer group influenced their intention to start smoking.

High exposure to cigarette advertising increases the probability of high school students to smoke. The estimation of the vulnerability rate of students being a smoker per research area provides information to develop policy on ban outdoor TAPS by area with the most vulnerability rate of students’ smoking behavior.

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