Unlike Malaysia, Thailand has some of the toughest antismoking laws in the world. It is at the forefront of the region��s antismoking efforts and has enacted a host of restrictions on the tobacco industry, including bans on cigarette advertisements, bans on smoking unfortunately in most public places, and bans on cigarette buying by Thai adolescents less than 18 years of age. It also introduced requirements in 2006 for all cigarette packs to include graphic images depicting the ill effects of tobacco on health. According to the National Statistical Office, the number of Thai smokers dropped by 38% from 11.67 million to 9.54 million between 1991 and 2006 due to the government��s success in enforcing antismoking laws (Malaysia National News Agency, 2007). The percentage of smokers in the same period in Bangkok fell from 32.
3% to 13.9% (Malaysia National News Agency, 2007). Tobacco use among Thai adolescents aged 15�C18 years is approximately 5% (Jategaonkar, 2007). However, findings from a recent population-based study indicate that while the percentage of current smokers among adolescents aged between 13 and 17 years in both Malaysia and Thailand is relatively low at 2.4% and 3.2%, respectively, the percent of those experimenting with cigarettes is at 11% (18% males and 3.4% females) and 12% (21% males and 2.6% females), respectively (Hammond et al., 2008). Smoking prevalence among Asian women in this region is typically low (Mackay & Amos, 2003; Mackay & Erikson, 2002), although some limited data suggests that this may be on the rise among young women (Global Youth Tobacco Survey Collaborative Group, 2002; Mackay & Amos, 2003; Parkinson et al.
, 2009). The increased smoking among women could reflect either the shift towards modernization and emancipation of women in this region or the specific targeting of women by the tobacco industry as a huge untapped market for its products, or both (Mackay & Amos, 2003; Morrow & Barraclough, 2003). A recent study by Parkinson et al. (2009), using adolescents�� data from the first wave of the International Tobacco Control Southeast Asia (ITC-SEA) survey, showed that female adolescents were less likely to hold positive aesthetic and social acceptability beliefs about smoking compared with their male counterparts, that Thai adolescents were more likely to endorse these beliefs, and that these beliefs were strongly predictive of smoking susceptibility. They also found that noticing antismoking media messages was associated with fewer positive attitudes towards smoking (Parkinson et al., 2009). However, they did not Entinostat explore whether exposure to antismoking media messages was a protective factor for smoking susceptibility.