Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 188-192

Glorified marketing influence among adolescents results in experimentation of tobacco use - Systematic review

Department of Public Health Dentistry, D. J. College of Dental Science and Research, Modinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission12-Dec-2017
Date of Acceptance26-May-2018
Date of Web Publication6-Aug-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Yashasvini
Department of Public Health Dentistry, D. J. College of Dental Science and Research, 371/4 Nehru Nagar, Suraj Kund, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_166_17

Rights and Permissions

Introduction: Adolescents' tobacco usage is a serious health concern. Advertisements in mass media are influential for initiating tobacco use in youth among India. Advertisements and promotional activities for tobacco lead to initiation and progression of tobacco among Indian adolescents which have been reviewed for tobacco prevention and cessation. Aim: The aim of the study is to summarize the effect of glorified advertising among teenagers. Methods: Electronic database was searched to identify suitable literature using Medline, PubMed, EBSCO, Cochrane library, and Google Scholar. The search was focused on studies examining the influence of advertisements and promotional activities of tobacco use among adolescents. Results: The search resulted in 31 articles, of which 10 articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in this systemic review. These studies were conducted in India from 2005 to 2016. Glorified marketing and advertising of tobacco play a significant role in tobacco initiation and experimentation of tobacco intake among adolescents. Conclusions: Glorified advertising traps the vulnerable adolescents for tobacco usage. They develop normalcy toward tobacco usage through attractive advertising. Measures such as banning tobacco usage in movies and television should be strictly implemented as youth get easily trapped in the influence of movies and television. Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act should be strictly implemented. All the loopholes in the legislation should be evenly covered.

Keywords: Advertising, India, teenagers, tobacco

How to cite this article:
Yashasvini, Patthi B, Singla A, Gupta R, Dhama K, Muchhal M. Glorified marketing influence among adolescents results in experimentation of tobacco use - Systematic review. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2018;16:188-92

How to cite this URL:
Yashasvini, Patthi B, Singla A, Gupta R, Dhama K, Muchhal M. Glorified marketing influence among adolescents results in experimentation of tobacco use - Systematic review. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Jul 6];16:188-92. Available from: https://www.jiaphd.org/text.asp?2018/16/3/188/238584

  Introduction Top

Advertising is used as a vital tool to create positive attitude toward tobacco usage. Promotion and marketing are amalgamated together to develop normalcy toward tobacco usage. Advertisements use known/popular personalities and popular images that fascinate youth, leading to magnificent impact among adolescents recognitional personalities are used as a catalyst in tobacco marketing, rather than information bearer.[1] These marketing approaches construct to portray the attractiveness and normalcy toward tobacco usage among adolescents. Tobacco marketing campaign easily transmits the message of independence, dignity, healthfulness, social recognition, and adventure seeking among adolescents, thus trapping the adolescent in the diplomatic marketing regime.[2]

Tobacco companies sponsor many sports events and other public events just to establish a medium for their sale and purchase of tobacco product. Tobacco products are marketed by public figure with attractive and exciting images that can serve as a “badge” or identification, second by utilizing the diversity of media, thereby creating an impression of prevalence and normalcy about tobacco use, and finally by associating the product with varied positive events and recognitional personalities.[1] The tobacco companies place advertisements in stores (point of sale), on TV, on the radio, on billboards, and through posters. Advertisements for tobacco are also seen in newspapers/magazines, in cinemas, on internet, on public transportation, on public walls, and in various other places. Furthermore, the tobacco companies use a variety of strategies for promoting their products including discounts and sales, clothing or other items with brand logos, coupons, free samples, surrogate advertising, and free gifts. Research has shown that cigarette marketing in the form of advertisements and promotions are causally related to increased prevalence of smoking among adolescents.[3],[4]

Advertising is an influential tool for behavior changes in an individual as they form a positive product image in mind. Researches show that one-third of the youth is attracted toward different types of products due to advertisement and promotional exposure.[2] Attractive ways of advertisements and promotional activities strongly influence Indian market, catching early adolescents as easy prey. These advertisements increase the likelihood among youth to buy tobacco products for the sake of experimentation, which leads to establish use gradually resulting in addiction.[5]

Peer influence, media, and advertising play a strong role in tobacco initiations among youth.[6],[7] These factors may lead to tobacco initiations through increasing curiosity leading to vulnerable chance of tobacco experimentation and may result in established use. Curiosity indicates interest, even in the absence of intentions to use tobacco. Curiosity can lead to tobacco usage through relevant stimuli such as advertising as well as impulsive behavior among adolescents. Therefore, curiosity may serve as an early warning for youth who may become[8],[9] susceptible and later may progress to experimentation and established use.[5]

Exposure to advertising is thought to be key determinant to develop curiosity. A perceptive relationship has been noticed among tobacco advertising and experimentation and progression in young people.[10],[11] Advertising and promotion may contribute to an environment that makes young people more susceptible toward tobacco use.[3]

Worldwide tobacco use is one of the most preventable causes of morbidity, disability, and mortality.[12],[13],[14] Tobacco kills around 6 million people each year,[15] accounting for 12% of global adult mortality.[16] Tobacco can be smoked or consumed in smokeless form. The use of smokeless tobacco (ST) is growing rapidly and globally.[17] Consumption of ST products is particularly popular in the United States, Sweden, India, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and various European countries.[18]

In India, evidence strongly suggests that exposure to marketing for tobacco leads to the initiation and progression of tobacco use among adolescents.[19],[20],[21] Moreover, it appears that young people often differ from one another in their response to advertising, and thus information about such responses among both youths and adults should increase our understanding of how to combat the tobacco problem worldwide.


  • Research questions - Do the peer pressure and attractive advertising intertwine in the early usage of tobacco among teenagers?
  • Objectives - Adolescents usage of tobacco under the influence of peer group and media.

  Methods Top

A pilot search conducted to scope the literature indicated insufficiency of data, hence broader search terms and inclusions criteria were considered for extensive and comprehensive results. It was necessary to review the articles.

Inclusion criteria

  1. Attitudes/belief/perceptions toward tobacco among adolescents
  2. Published studies found by searches
  3. Studies on India.

Exclusion criteria

  1. Studies on cancers and precancerous lesions
  2. Studies on effects of tobacco use.

Search strategy

Electronic database was searched to identify suitable literature for the review article using Medline, PubMed, EBSCO, Cochrane library, Google Scholar, and hand search of the journal was also conducted [Figure 1]. The search was focused on studies examining the influence of advertisements and promotional activities of tobacco use among adolescents. The search for review was done up to June 30, 2017, out of 31 articles, 10 were selected. Included studies were conducted in India from 2005 to 2016.
Figure 1: Search strategy

Click here to view

  Results Top

Electronic and manual search were conducted, studies focused in India were included. [Table 1] shows the all inclusion criteria of the concern review. Studies listed in [Table 2] describe the relationship between tobacco advertising and progression toward tobacco use among adolescents. Early adolescent usage of tobacco is a serious health concern. The concern review had discussed on the health hazards among adolescents.
Table 1: Studies hitting the influence of advertising

Click here to view
Table 2: Advertising and media

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

This systemic review had evaluated that advertising and promotion of tobacco play a magnificent role in tobacco initiation and experimentation of tobacco intake, in India. Despite Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) act[23] which prohibits advertisements of cigarettes and tobacco products, tobacco companies have rule out the prohibition of COTPA due to its weak enforcement.[23] These promotional activities have 2.36 times higher risk of progression toward tobacco usage among adolescents.[22],[25] A study[22] revealed that 87.2% of students were exposed to tobacco advertisements and other sponsorship events such as promotional activities are prohibited under section 5 of COTPA act. This section prohibits a direct or indirect form of marketing. On the contrary, GYTS (2009) reveals that three-quarter of students in India is exposed to pro-tobacco advertisements through billboards. Thus, depicting the weak enforcement of section 5 COTPA act, which require immediate attention among policymakers.

This review submits the male predilection toward tobacco intake. Therefore, tobacco companies have launched advertising strategies targeting women in India.[1] Tobacco companies have modulated their way of advertising by casting females in advertisement campaign. These advertising strategies comprise females of higher socioeconomic status aspiring for westernization. Tobacco brands present female model as stylish Western image in advertising campaign developing an aura of sophistication to terminate the Indian cultural ethics.[1] Companies directly or indirectly promote different types of tobacco product. Tobacco companies have invested huge amount in advertisements. Tobacco investors are leaning more toward Indian market, as the sale in Western countries has been barred. Tobacco brands are sponsoring bravery awards to recognize members of community for act of courage and bravery. These bravery awards attract the vulnerable adolescents toward smoking. These surrogate modes of advertising develop the desire for tobacco intake in immature adolescents. These methods of advertising depict the courageous attitude, in build among tobacco users. Tobacco companies are mushrooming in varied ways to allure the innocents. These promotional campaigns lead to higher likelihood of experimentation.[26]

Study[1] reveals that advertising companies using alluring taglines and sophisticated marketing practices in India. Different tobacco brands play the image of affluential and westernization in tobacco campaigns. Say for example Red and White campaign depicts aircrafts reaching sky or a flag on the mountain summit with the text denoting people who smoke Red and White belong to a different premium league. The Red and White bravery awards that recognize members of the community who display either acts of physical bravery or courage. Such courageous and bravery award attracts boys more and therefore adolescents get easily trapped[22],[26] under fake illusion of bravery and courage.

Tobacco is sold out under the popular name ‘Wills'. wills have diversify the pattern of tobacco marketing with the amalgamation of clothing brand, under the name Wills lifestyle. Wills have diversify the marketing norms to rule out legal restrains. Another successful strategy is amalgamation of tobacco with Indian cinema.[27] Indian cinema had promoted the tobacco usage differently. Cinema actors promote their movies on the floor of tobacco companies and tobacco companies' use.[26] These movies icon to act as a catalyst for their tobacco product promotion. Cigarette smoking with different models and television characters attract vulnerable adolescents. These media role models sometimes show cigarette smoking with different tricks; such visuals develop curiosity for tobacco. Indirectly tobacco companies utilize the image of these public icons in their promotional activities. Although the government has enforced COTPA act[23],[29] to restrain the advertisement campaigns, tobacco companies have employed easy loopholes to deal with the legislation.

Studies[1],[26] reveal that advertisement exposure leads to 1.5 times higher progression of tobacco. Usage of tobacco in movies and promotional activities suggest the normalcy toward tobacco. Tobacco companies sponsoring various sports events develop the aura of energy and positivity toward tobacco products. Morbidity and mortality rate have been hitting higher under the influence of glamorization of tobacco market.[24] High potential in Indian market has fascinated the tobacco companies to invest. Under the restrain norms for tobacco, advertisements in Western countries have led to the migration of companies toward India. Henceforth, companies have felt privileged of being beneficial investors in the market of tobacco sale, in India. Studies shows tobacco initiation occurs even before 18 years.[26] There should be tobacco quitting strategies focusing on early age intervention and covering the addiction among adolescents.[28],[29] Youth should be motivated and aware to quit tobacco and tobacco should be strictly banned.[30]

  Conclusions Top

Tobacco usage is widely acceptable among adolescents. Its association with advertising, marketing policies, and ease of availability has flourished its sale. Advertising strategies develop the positive aura for tobacco by sponsoring the sports events and sponsoring other social events. Marketing policies are generated to develop the normalcy toward tobacco. Cultural ethics have been broken down through effective advertising. Although youth is aware of health hazards, tobacco initiation is adopted due curiosity generated through advertising and other promotional activities. Tobacco intake is prevalent among adolescents due to the positive impression created by the media promoters. Such promotional activities develop curiosity which leads to addiction of tobacco.

Youth is aware of health hazards, but they require strong motivation to quit. Strong policies should be implemented at school level to demolish the strong predictors. Control strategies and understanding epidemiology of tobacco-related health hazards should be strictly implemented in schools. Educational efforts should be focused on dispelling the misconceptions created in the youth minds by media.

Strong policies should be implemented to bar tobacco usage among adolescents. Adolescents should be motivated with role models such as media persons and doctors. Tobacco cessation advertisements should be flourished on radio, television, magazines, and newspapers. Cessation program should be targeted on adolescents so that they may not switch to tobacco consumption due to any reason.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Bansal R, John S, Ling PM. Cigarette advertising in Mumbai, India: Targeting different socioeconomic groups, women, and youth. Tob Control 2005;14:201-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2013: Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.  Back to cited text no. 2
National Cancer Institute. The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use. Tobacco Control Monograph No. 19, NIH Publication. No. 07-6242. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute; 2008.  Back to cited text no. 3
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking – Fifty Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2014.  Back to cited text no. 4
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health. USDHHS Preventing Tobacco use among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta GA: USDHHS, CDC; 1994.  Back to cited text no. 5
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health. USDHHS the Health Consequences of Smoking 50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta GA: USDHHS, CDC; 2014.  Back to cited text no. 6
Pierce JP, Distefan JM, Kaplan RM, Gilpin EA. The role of curiosity in smoking initiation. Addict Behav 2005;30:685-96.  Back to cited text no. 7
Choi WS, Gilpin EA, Farkas AJ. Determining the proability of future smoking among adolescents. Addiction 2001;96;313-23.  Back to cited text no. 8
Pierce JP, Choi WS, Gilpin EA, Farkas AJ, Merritt RK. Validation of susceptibility as a predictor of which adolescents take up smoking in the United States. Health Psychol 1996;15:355-61.  Back to cited text no. 9
Jackson C. Cognitive susceptibility to smoking and initiation of smoking during childhood: A longitudinal study. Prev Med 1998;27:129-34.  Back to cited text no. 10
Begum S, Schensul JJ, Nair S, Donta B. Initiating smokeless tobacco use across reproductive stages. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2015;16:7547-54.  Back to cited text no. 11
Bartal M. Health effects of tobacco use and exposure. Monaldi Arch Chest Dis 2001;56:545-54.  Back to cited text no. 12
Giovino GA, Mirza SA, Samet JM, Gupta PC, Jarvis MJ, Bhala N, et al. Tobacco use in 3 billion individuals from 16 countries: An analysis of nationally representative cross-sectional household surveys. Lancet 2012;380:668-79.  Back to cited text no. 13
World Health Organization. Tobacco: Leading Cause of Death, Illness and Impoverishment. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Jan 09].  Back to cited text no. 14
Ezzati M, Lopez AD. Regional, disease specific patterns of smoking-attributable mortality in 2000. Tob Control 2004;13:388-95.  Back to cited text no. 15
Tobacco Free Initiative. Tobacco: Deadly in Any Form or Disguise. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2006.  Back to cited text no. 16
Mejia AB, Ling PM. Tobacco industry consumer research on smokeless tobacco users and product development. Am J Public Health 2010;100:78-87.  Back to cited text no. 17
Portnoy DB, Wu CC, Tworek C, Chen J, Borek N. Youth curiosity about cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and cigars: Prevalence and associations with advertising. Am J Prev Med 2014;47:S76-86.  Back to cited text no. 18
DiFranza JR, Wellman RJ, Sargent JD, Weitzman M, Hipple BJ, Winickoff JP, et al. Tobacco promotion and the initiation of tobacco use: Assessing the evidence for causality. Pediatrics 2006;117:e1237-48.  Back to cited text no. 19
McGuire WJ. Public communication as a strategy for inducing health-promoting behavioral change. Prev Med 1984;13:299-319.  Back to cited text no. 20
Shah PB, Pednekar MS, Gupta PC, Sinha DN. The relationship between tobacco advertisements and smoking status of youth in India. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2008;9:637-42.  Back to cited text no. 21
Arora M, Gupta VK, Nazar GP, Stigler MH, Perry CL, Reddy KS, et al. Impact of tobacco advertisements on tobacco use among urban adolescents in India: Results from a longitudinal study. Tob Control 2012;21:318-24.  Back to cited text no. 22
Patel D, Kassim S, Croucher R. Tobacco promotion and availability in school neighborhoods in India: A cross-sectional study of their impact on adolescent tobacco use. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2012;13:4173-6.  Back to cited text no. 23
Sardana M, Goel S, Gupta M, Sardana V, Singh BS. Is exposure to tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship associated with initiation of tobacco use among current tobacco users in youth in India? Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2015;16:6299-302.  Back to cited text no. 24
Arora M, Reddy KS, Stigler MH, Perry CL. Associations between tobacco marketing and use among urban youth in India. Am J Health Behav 2008;32:283-94.  Back to cited text no. 25
Stigler MH, Perry CL, Arora M, Reddy KS. Why are urban Indian 6th graders using more tobacco than 8th graders? Findings from project MYTRI. Tob Control 2006;15 Suppl 1:i54-60.  Back to cited text no. 26
Kotwal A, Thakur R, Seth T. Correlates of tobacco-use pattern amongst adolescents in two schools of New Delhi, India. Indian J Med Sci 2005;59:243-52.  Back to cited text no. 27
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Imtiaz D, Kandpal DS, Juyal R, Shrotriya PV. A study on awareness about harmul effects of tobacco use among rural population in Dehradun district of Uttrakhand. Indian Journal of Community Health 2015;27:440.  Back to cited text no. 28
Basagoudar SS, Chandershaker R, Hantoor S, Kirte RC. Tobacco smoking perception and practice among pre-university students in a government boys' college: A cross sectional study. Int J Community Med Public Health 2017;4:440-5.  Back to cited text no. 29
Rani M, Bonu S, Jha P, Nguyen SN, Jamjoum L. Tobacco use in India: Prevalence and predictors of smoking and chewing in a national cross sectional household survey. Tob Control 2003;12:e4.  Back to cited text no. 30


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded310    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal