EUGENE, Ore. — An Oregon State University study suggests that anti-smoking ads by the tobacco industry targeted at youths and their parents do not work and might actually encourage some teens to smoke.
At best, the ads have no effect, said Brian Flay, a professor in Oregon State’s department of public health in Corvallis, one of nine researchers who studied tobacco-industry ads. He said some ads, particularly those aimed at parents, may actually encourage smoking.
Cigarette maker Philip Morris USA disputes the results. Philip Morris says not only has it spent $1 billion to develop and disseminate advertising aimed at deterring youth smoking but it also has research that shows the ads work. It says the ads are based on widely accepted research and don’t carry hidden messages.