Tobacco advertising is a stronger determinant than peer pressure in influencing children to start smoking, according to a study released by the Coalition on Smoking OR Health.

The study's authors maintain that this information runs counter to tobacco-industry claims that peer pressure, not advertising, is the main reason children start smoking.

An interest in tobacco advertising and promotional gifts from tobacco companies was a strong predictor of whether a child would go on to smoke, according to the study, conducted by cancer researchers at the University of California at San Diego and published in the Oct. 17 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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