Children's Perceptions of Tobacco Marketing in China
Professor Dina Borzekowski, along with a production crew, worked with five and six year old children in Shanghai, China in June 2016 to capture the children's perceptions of tobacco marketing and the risks of second-hand smoke. Short videos will be produced from this footage, and will hopefully be instrumental in affecting tobacco regulations in China.
Two videos related to Dr. Borzekowski’s previous work on children’s perceptions of tobacco use and messaging won the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Global Health Video Competition in the Global Health Advocacy category in 2015. Her research team’s films, “Scary Packages--Brazilian Children Speak” and “They’re Very Pretty--Russian Children Speak", highlighted young children’s awareness of messages featured on cigarette packages. The children were asked to look at and react to the packages' logos and health warning labels. The study revealed that five and six year-olds have low levels of awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco, but can easily recognize the brands. Of the six countries studied (China, Russia, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, and Brazil), Brazilian children had the highest level of awareness.
The produced videos are meant to stimulate conversations and promote more widespread use of graphic health warning labels on cigarette packages. When disseminated to policy advocates, this work can dispel the erroneous belief that children just ignore warning labels. Greater promotion and distribution of these videos will offer visual evidence that anti-smoking messages can be effective.