01 October 2010

Ban all tobacco advertising, say US paediatricians

THE American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for a ban on all tobacco advertising in the US, plus restrictions on alcohol and prescription drug-related ads. Smoking and drinking are also glamorised in movies and TV programmes, it says, and this should be reduced (Pediatrics, DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-1635).
The authors of the policy statement argue that while parents and teachers are urging kids to stay away from smoking and drinking, the $25 billion spent each year in advertising glamorises it - sending confusing messages to children.
The AAP refers to various studies in its report. One suggests advertising could be responsible for nearly a third of all teen alcohol and tobacco use. Another reveals that the Budweiser frog is almost as familiar to 9 and 10-year-olds as Bugs Bunny.

**Published in "New Scientist"

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