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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: Hispanics represent the largest and fastest growing minority in the US. Currently, in the US, the incidence of smoking is lower among young adult Hispanic women than among young adult White women. Just as the tobacco industry views Hispanic Americans as an opportunity, the public health community needs to develop programs to protect this population. Strategies are needed not only to ensure young Latinas maintain their lower level of smoking but to determine if the factors protecting Latinas might be useful for other young adults. The purpose of this presentation is to describe three potential counter-marketing themes to protect young Latinas.
Methods: Internal tobacco industry documents made public through the Master Settlement Agreement were identified through key word and snowball searching of websites using terms about consumer research and Hispanic. Over 140 industry documents dating from 1984 through 1997 were analyzed. Findings from the internal industry documents were confirmed through triangulation with surveys, ad collections, and Lexis-Nexis and were supplemented with additional research.
Results: Analysis of tobacco industry documents reveals that the industry has been targeting US Hispanic populations since at least 1989; that some Latinas smoke despite perceived norms from their family not to; and that some Latinas respond positively to appeals to become modern by smoking. Three themes for counter-marketing were identified: (1) reveal to young Latinas that they are being targeted by the tobacco industry; (2) reinforce traditional expectations that Hispanic women do not smoke; and (3) provide young Latinas with alternative ways to become modern.