Gender Differences in Adolescents' Responses to Themes of Relaxation in Cigarette Advertising

Relationship to Intentions to Smoke

Published in: Addictive Behaviors, v. 32, no. 2, Feb. 2007, p. 205-213

Posted on RAND.org on February 01, 2007

by Danae N. DiRocco, William G. Shadel

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Studies have shown that increased exposure to cigarette advertising increases adolescents' risk of smoking and moreover, that gender may play an important role in moderating how cigarette advertisements are viewed and processed. However, information about the particular features of cigarette advertising that interact with gender to promote smoking among adolescents is scarce. The purpose of this study was to examine if gender moderates the degree to which the relaxation valence (i.e., degree to which relaxing themes are emphasized) of cigarette advertisements is related to smoking intentions in a sample of never smoking adolescents. Regardless of brand type (of the seven brands studied), cigarette advertisements that displayed highly relaxing images were associated with increased intentions to smoke among female adolescents only. These results have implications for understanding what features of cigarette advertisements have the most influence among different groups of adolescents.

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