The Link Between Baseball Caps, Tee Shirts and Teen Smoking

Longitudinal survey of adolescent smoking in California

In 1996 and 1999, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) conducted two longitudinal surveys designed primarily to study the roles of tobacco marketing and of parenting in the smoking uptake process among adolescents.

Both were based on the California Tobacco Survey (CTS), which has measured various aspects of smoking among California residents every two to three years since 1990.

Key Findings

  • Among the key findings of the first study (ID# 028042):

    • Tobacco promotional activities are causally related to the onset of smoking.
    • Susceptible nonsmokers are at least twice as likely to become future smokers as non-susceptible never smokers.
    • One possible mechanism through which tobacco advertising and promotions may encourage adolescents to experiment is by minimizing the adolescent's perceptions of the risks of smoking.
  • Among the key findings of the second study (ID# 035086):

    • Adolescent "never smokers" who preferred movie stars who smoked on- and off-screen (who were also favorites of adolescent "ever smokers") were significantly more likely to have initiated smoking.
    • Low parental monitoring of adolescent smoking, weak parental expectations against smoking and amount of time spent outside the home were independently associated with adolescents ever smoking.
    • About half of all parents correctly classified their adolescents' smoking status.
    • Adolescent ever smokers who perceived that their parents relapsed from nonsmoking to smoking because of benefits from smoking were eight times more likely to be established smokers than those who perceived that their parents were too addicted to quit.