Dental Hygienists Association of Australia
Advertising and addiction
Advertising and addiction:
The DHAA Inc. recognises that smoking is an addiction and wishes to support initiatives that reduce smoking and encourage adolescents and children to form healthy lifestyle habits free from addiction.
Research indicates that children learn consumption stereotypes from their peers, media, family and schools. It is also apparent that during adolescence consumption stereotypes that were previously viewed as negative may be viewed as neutral or more positively. Examples of consumption stereotypes that may change in adolescence include cigarette smoking, alcohol use and the use of illicit drugs 10 Marketers favour advertising that promotes positive stereotypes and increased production.
Although tobacco companies are restricted from advertising tobacco products, many companies have diversified or have parent companies that are responsible for promoting positive consumption stereotypes to children. Parent tobacco companies hold (and have held) interests in multi-billion dollar companies that produce chocolates, frozen pizza, biscuits, soft drinks, chips, confectionary, instant savoury meals, peanut butter, coffee, alcohol, corn chips and a well known yeast extract spread. Companies that have (or have had) parent tobacco companies include Kraft, Cadbury, Maxwell House and Nabisco Oreo.11
The acquisition of iconic brands is deliberate with marketing geared to promoting positive consumption of products that the DHAA Inc. believe to be contra-indicative to children’s dental health as well as to their general health and well-being, putting children at risk of adapting unhealthy dietary habits and lifestyles.
The DHAA Inc. recommends that the National Health Reforms take into consideration the impact that tobacco companies are still achieving through their advertising to youth and, in response, target the major influences which inform consumption (stereotyping, peers, families, schools and media).