Prosmoking messages, delivered through marketing and the media, can reach very young children and influence attitudes and behaviors around smoking. This study examined the reach of tobacco marketing to 5 and 6 year olds in 6 low- and middle-income countries.
Researchers worked one-on-one with 5 and 6 year olds in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Russia (N = 2423). The children were asked to match logos with pictures of products, including 8 logos for cigarette brands. Analyses examined, overall and by country, whether gender, age, location, household use of tobacco, and knowledge of media characters were associated with awareness of cigarette brand logos. Additional analyses considered the relationship between cigarette brand logo awareness and intentions to smoke.
Overall, 68% of 5 and 6 year olds could identify at least 1 cigarette brand logo, ranging from 50% in Russia to 86% in China. Across countries, being slightly older and having someone in the household who used tobacco, were significantly associated with greater odds of being able to identify at least 1 cigarette brand logo.
The majority of young children from low- and middle-income countries are familiar with cigarette brands. This study’s findings suggest that more effective measures are needed to restrict the reach of tobacco marketing.