§ Mr. Nicholas Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of a total ban on cigarette advertising on(a) the prevalence of smoking amongst the population as a whole and (b) the prevalence of smoking among the 11 to 15-year-old age group.
§ Mr. Sackville
In 1992 the Department of Health reviewed all the available evidence on the effect of tobacco advertising on tobacco consumption. The findings were published as a discussion document. "Effect of Tobacco Advertising on Tobacco Consumption", copies of which are available in the Library. The Government concluded on the basis of the evidence reviewed that a ban on tobacco advertising in the United Kingdom would not have a major impact in reducing levels of smoking.
The Department of Health review did not identify any studies which seek to quantify the effect of a ban on the prevalence of smoking amongst children aged between 11 and 15. The report "Why Children Start Smoking" Office of Population Censuses and Surveys 1990—identified a number of risk factors in this age group associated with starting to smoke. The report concluded thatgreater awareness of cigarette advertising is associated with a slightly increased likelihood of starting to smoke in the future. However, the effect appears to be small in comparison with some of the other influences on children such as the example set by parents and siblings".