Is Exposure to Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship Associated with Initiation of Tobacco Use among Current Tobacco Users in Youth in India?


Background: The rise in consumption of tobacco products among youth is a public health concern in India.Several studies have shown that advertisements promoting tobacco products influence decisions and behaviourof youth towards smoking.
Objective: To ascertain which method of Tobacco Advertising, Promotion andSponsorship (TAPS) was more influential for initiating tobacco use in youth in India. Materials and
Methods:The secondary data of youth (15-24 years) from nationally representative Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS)conducted in 2009-2010 was analyzed. Odds ratio and p-value were used to know the association between TAPSand initiation of use of tobacco products among youth. Logistic regression was used to determine the mostsignificant means of TAPS altering the youth’s behaviour towards tobacco products.
Results: Out of 13,383 youths,1,982 (14.7%) used smokeless forms of tobacco and 860 (6.38%) used smoke forms. Logistic regression revealsthat promotional activities mainly through cinemas (p<0.05) and providing free samples of tobacco products (p< = .001) were most influential means of initiating consumption of tobacco products among youth.
Conclusions:The smoking in youth is associated with watching advertisements particularly in cinema and promotionalactivities like distribution of free samples, coupons and sales on the price of tobacco products. Stronger legislativemeasures should be enforced to curb promotional advertisements in cinemas and distribution of free samples.