The Effect of Enforcement of the Master Settlement Agreement on Youth Exposure to Print Advertising

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Abstract

Enforcement of the Master Settlement Agreement’s (MSA) prohibitions on youth targeting and the use of cartoons has resulted in a significant reduction in youth exposure to tobacco advertising. The MSA between the states and the tobacco companies has provided state officials with a new and powerful tool to address tobacco company marketing practices that may promote underage smoking. In the area of print advertising, enforcement of the MSA’s prohibitions on youth targeting (MSA III[a]) and on the use of cartoons (MSA III[b]) has resulted in a significant reduction in youth exposure to tobacco advertising. The recent court decisions finding that R. J. Reynolds violated the youth targeting prohibition in its tobacco advertising in national magazines affirm the viability of the MSA’s various restrictions and its enforcement mechanisms as a key way that state Attorneys General are responding to a range of tobacco company practices affecting youth.

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