Ethnic and Socioeconomic Disparities in Recalled Exposure to and Self-Reported Impact of Tobacco Marketing and Promotions

Meghan Bridgid Moran, Kathryn Heley, John P. Pierce, Raymond Niaura, David Strong, David Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The role of tobacco marketing in tobacco use, particularly among the vulnerable ethnic and socioeconomic sub-populations is a regulatory priority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There currently exist both ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the use of tobacco products. Monitoring such inequalities in exposure to tobacco marketing is essential to inform tobacco regulatory policy that may reduce known tobacco-related health disparities. We use data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Wave 1 youth survey to examine (1) recalled exposure to and liking of tobacco marketing for cigarettes, non-large cigars, and e-cigarettes, (2) self-reported exposure to specific tobacco marketing tactics, namely coupons, sweepstakes, and free samples, and (3) self-reported impact of tobacco marketing and promotions on product use. Findings indicate that African Americans and those of lower SES were more likely to recall having seen cigarette and non-large cigar ads. Reported exposure to coupons, sweepstakes and free samples also varied ethnically and socioeconomically. African Americans and those of lower SES were more likely than other respondents to report that marketing and promotions as played a role in their tobacco product use. Better understanding of communication inequalities and their influence on product use is needed to inform tobacco regulatory action that may reduce tobacco company efforts to target vulnerable groups. Tobacco education communication campaigns focusing on disproportionately affected groups could help counter the effects of targeted industry marketing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Communication
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 13 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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