Teen-agers reject smoking image
Ann Arbor, Mich. — Smoking is ''out'' among the vast majority of US teen-agers, a University of Michigan survey reported. University researchers found young people aren't buying the tobacco industry's two main advertising pitches: the rugged, he-man image aimed at males and the liberated-woman image directed at females. Their findings are based on a 1982 nationwide study of 18,000 high school seniors. Only 6 to 7 percent of the seniors agreed that smoking a cigarette makes someone in this age group look 'cool, calm, and in control.'
Only 11 percent said smoking makes a boy look ''rugged, tough, and independent.'' And 24 percent said it makes him appear to be the opposite, ''conforming,'' which is not a virtue among teen-agers.
And what about the liberation theme for women? Only one in seven of the seniors said they think smoking makes a girl look ''independent and liberated.'' Nearly two-thirds believe cigarette smoking makes a person their age look like he or she ''is trying to appear mature and sophisticated,'' researchers said.
Daily smoking by seniors dropped from 29 percent to 21 percent between 1977 and 1982, which the researchers attribute chiefly to rising health concerns. ''Probably the clincher is that some two-thirds say that they would personally prefer to date people who don't smoke,'' said Lloyd Johnston, who directed the study along with Dr. Jerald Bachman and Dr. Patrick O'Malley.