[USA Today]

In a notable 1991 study, researchers found that 91% of 6-year-olds surveyed were able to correctly match Old Joe, the Camel cigarettes cartoon character logo, with a picture of a cigarette — nearly equal to the number of kids who correctly matched Mickey Mouse with the Disney Channel logo.

Twenty-two years later, a new study finds that cigarette manufacturers’ efforts to reach young children internationally in low- and middle-income countries is nearly as effective, and consequently as worrisome.

The study, in October’s Pediatrics, published online today, finds that 68% of 2,400 children (ages 5 and 6) surveyed in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Russia were able to correctly identify at least one cigarette brand logo when playing a matching game designed to show familiarity between logos with their respective objects.

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