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Tobacco Advertising: Economic Theory and International Evidence


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  • Henry Saffer
  • Frank Chaloupka


Tobacco advertising is a public health issue if these activities increase smoking. Although public health advocates assert that tobacco advertising does increase smoking, there is significant empirical literature that finds little or no effect of tobacco advertising on smoking. In this paper, these prior studies are examined more closely with several important insights emerging from this analysis. This paper also provides new empirical evidence on the effect of tobacco advertising. The primary conclusion of this research is that a comprehensive set of tobacco advertising bans can reduce tobacco consumption and that a limited set of tobacco advertising bans will have little of no effect. The regression results indicate that a comprehensive set of tobacco advertising bans can reduce consumption by 6.3 percent. The regression results also indicate that the new European Commission directive tobacco advertising in the EC countries, will reduce tobacco consumption by about 6.9 percent on average in the EC. The regression results also indicate that the ban on outdoor advertising included in the US tobacco industry state level settlement will probably not result in much change in advertising expenditures nor in tobacco use. Under the settlement industry would also contribute $1.5 billion over five years for public education on tobacco use. This counteradvertising could reduce tobacco use by about two percent.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6958.

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Date of creation: Feb 1999
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Publication status: published as Saffer, Henry & Chaloupka, Frank, 2000. "The effect of tobacco advertising bans on tobacco consumption," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 1117-1137, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6958

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  1. Henry Saffer & Dhaval Dave, 2006. "Alcohol advertising and alcohol consumption by adolescents," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 617-637.
  2. Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "An Empirical Analysis of Dynamic, Nonprice Competition in an Oligopolistic Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 200-220, Summer.
  3. Seldon, Barry J & Doroodian, Khosrow, 1989. "A Simultaneous Model of Cigarette Advertising: Effects on Demand and Industry Response to Public Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(4), pages 673-77, November.
  4. Benjamin Klein & Kevin M. Murphy & Lynne Schneider, 1981. "Governmental REgualtion of Cigarette Health Information," UCLA Economics Working Papers 200, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Duffy, Martyn, 1995. "Advertising in demand systems for alcoholic drinks and tobacco: A comparative study," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 557-577, December.
  6. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 941-64, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Layte, Richard & Russell, Helen & McCoy, Selina, 2002. "The Economics and Marketing of Tobacco: An Overview of the Existing Published Evidence," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS46, September.
  2. Wakefield, Melanie A PhD & Chaloupka, Frank J. PhD, 1999. "Effectiveness of Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs in Reducing Teenage Smoking: A Review," University of California at San Francisco, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education qt46n6b9mv, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UC San Francisco.
  3. Wakefield, Melanie PhD & Ruel, Erin E. MA & Chaloupka, Frank J. PhD & Slater, Sandy J. MS & Kaufman, Nancy J. RN, MS, 2001. "Association of Point of Purchase Tobacco Advertising and Promotions with Choice of Usual Brand Among Teenage Smokers," University of California at San Francisco, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education qt28h3v79v, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UC San Francisco.
  4. Wakefield, Melanie A. PhD & Terry, Yvonne M. MSA & Chaloupka, Frank J. PhD & Barker, Dianne C. MHS & Slater, Sandy J. MS & Clark, Pamela I PhD & Giovino, Gary A. MS, PhD, 2000. "Changes at the Point-of-Sale for Tobacco Following the 1999 Billboard Ban," University of California at San Francisco, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education qt88h2t1n7, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UC San Francisco.


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