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Number of Youth Gun Deaths Nearly Doubles Over a Decade

The number of people ages 1 to 19 who died from gunfire in the United States nearly doubled from 1983 to 1993. The number of such deaths went from 2,951 to 5,737 over that period, a jump of 94.4 percent, a report released last week says.

The number of U.S. children and teenagers, from birth to age 19, killed by firearms rose 6.5 percent, to a record 5,751, between 1992 and 1993, the most recent year for which data are available, according to federal figures. Sixty-four percent of the gun-related deaths in that age group were homicides.

The Washington-based Children's Defense Fund released the previously unpublished data from the National Center for Health Statistics last week.

The CDF called for stronger regulation of guns and for more jobs and activities for young people after school, on weekends, and in the summer to keep them off the streets.

Up in Smoke

Cigarette advertising influences the smoking behavior of adolescents about three times as much as it does that of adults, a marketing study has found.

The study concludes that brand choices among teenagers are significantly related to cigarette advertising. Advertising's impact on teenagers' brand choices, the authors write, cannot be dismissed as merely following adult brand choices.

The article, written by researchers from the University of British Columbia, Boston University's school of public health, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appears in the April issue of the Journal of Marketing, published by the Chicago-based American Marketing Association.

The study's authors looked at cigarette companies' spending on advertising for nine different cigarette brands between 1974 and 1993. They were not able to address the effects of contests, catalogues, in-store merchandising, or other activities on brand market shares.

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