This Section has been included for historical interest. Now that a print ban has been enforced in Australia, it will be interesting to see whether discussion about tobacco issues receives greater attention or prominence.
Australian and international research has shown that there is some link between acceptance of tobacco advertising and lack of reporting on tobacco issues for some publications. The connection appears stronger for magazines than for newspapers, is especially strong for women's magazines, and has been evident for some time.(117,118,119,120,121,122)
An Australian study which examined 11 different magazines (nine of which carried tobacco advertising) between 1979 and 1986 reported 'a severe deficiency in the reporting of the hazards of smoking'.(120) In an average five years' publication per magazine, ten magazines carried two anti-smoking articles between them, while Readers' Digest (which refuses tobacco advertising as a matter of policy) ran five. Those ten magazines ran twice as many 'pro-smoking' features as they did anti-smoking features. The same study documented specific cases where stories about smoking were not printed out of fear of losing tobacco advertising accounts. Examples and outcomes of publications and journalists attempting to print unflattering articles about the tobacco industry in the UK and the US are also detailed by Taylor(117) and Warner.(118)
One tobacco industry trade journal has, perhaps inadvertently, commented that anti-tobacco sentiment is freely expressed in the Australian electronic and print media now that tobacco advertising bans are in place, as they now 'have no need to consider or appease the feelings of an advertiser'.(123)