This study examined the extent to which visitors to convenience stores remember the cigarette advertisements they encounter in these stores and investigated the relationships between how advertisements are recalled and attitudes toward them.
Exit surveys of 1007 visitors to three convenience stores located in Seoul, Korea, were conducted between 25 November 2015 and 7 December 2015.
Of the respondents, 23.4% (n = 236) freely recalled the cigarette advertisement in the store just visited. However, the percentage of participants who correctly recalled the advertisement increased to 55.2% (n = 556) after we presented them with a card showing options for the advertisement (i.e. a cued recall task). Regardless of sex or purchasing cigarettes, free recall performance was significantly associated with age, number of weekly visits to the convenience store and current smoking status. In addition, free recall increased with having a positive attitude toward cigarette advertisements.
Repeated visits to convenience stores may continue to expose individuals to cigarettes and their advertisements; such exposure may subconsciously affect recall of the advertisements and maintenance of a positive attitude toward cigarette advertisements. Therefore, to denormalize smoking in society, cigarette advertising and displays at points of sale including convenience stores, should be banned.