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Research links tobacco displays with teen smoking

Media Release

3 July, 2008

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) NZ

Research links tobacco displays with teen smoking

The Public Health Association (PHA) conference was today told that teens who regularly visit dairies, supermarket and service-stations with tobacco displays are twice as likely to be susceptible to smoking than those who visit less than once a week.

Dr Janine Paynter told the conference in Waitangi, that analysis of data from the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Year 10 Snapshot Survey showed a ‘significant’ association between retail displays of tobacco products and the risk of 14 and 15 year olds taking up smoking.

Dr Paynter says the findings show there is a ‘clear link’ between the number store visits and susceptibility to smoking or experimentation with smoking. Susceptibility is a measure of how likely a variable, such a smoking or non-smoking is likely to occur.

Dr Paynter says a teen who visits a store two to three times a week is twice as likely to be susceptible to smoking compared to someone who visited stores less than weekly.

“We screened out other factors like friends and family members who smoked, in order to look purely at the relationship between visits to the tobacco retailer and the teens’self-reported inclination to start smoking or experiment with smoking.”said concluded Dr Paynter.

Notes to editors:

• The survey is conducted by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) New Zealand and the Health Sponsorship Council (HSC) and takes an annual snapshot of smoking behaviour amongst Kiwi teenagers aged 14-15.

• The 2007 survey saw 29 000 students from more than 240 secondary schools take part by completing anonymous questionnaires, making this one of the largest surveys of its type.

• Co-authors:

Richard Edwards, University of Otago
Philip Schluter, Auckland University of Technology
Ingrid McDuff, Health Sponsorship Council


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