February 12, 2009

CDC: Kids have cigarette brand preferences

U.S. researchers suggest that exposure to tobacco advertising and promotional activities plays a role in influencing youth to start smoking.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report said that researchers found the three most heavily advertised brands -- Marlboro, Newport and Camel -- continue to be the preferred brand of cigarettes smoked by middle and high school student smokers.

The study found 78 percent of middle-school students and 87 percent of high-school students prefer to smoke these three brands. The report found a considerable difference in brand preference among students by gender and ethnicity. Marlboro is the preferred brand for middle and high school females -- 50 percent and 54 percent, respectively -- compared to males --38 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

The use of Camel was higher for middle school males -- 12 percent -- than middle school females -- 4 percent.

The report also found that black middle- and high-school students -- 60 percent and 79 percent, respectively -- preferred Newport, a menthol cigarette that is strategically marketed to black communities, the study said.