, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1-19

Trends in Recall and Appraisal of Anti-Smoking Advertising Among American Youth: National Survey Results, 1997–2001

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Abstract

Public health efforts to reduce the harms related to tobacco use currently include a significant emphasis on anti-smoking media campaigns. This paper provides (a) data on the overall extent of exposure to anti-smoking media among American youth from 1997 to 2001, (b) an appraisal of general youth reactions to such advertising, and (c) an examination of how exposure levels and reactions vary by socio-demographic characteristics. Data were obtained from the Monitoring the Future study, an ongoing nationwide study of youth. Data were collected each year from nationally representative separate and nonoverlapping school samples of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students (N = 29,724; 24,639; and 12,138, respectively). Self-reported levels of recalled exposure to both electronic and print anti-smoking advertising were measured, as well as the judged impact and perceived exaggeration of such advertising. Data indicate that significant increases in overall exposure to anti-smoking advertising occurred over the study time period. These increases were associated with (a) increases in the self-reported likelihood that anti-smoking advertising diminished the probability of individual smoking behaviors, and (b) increases in the perceived level to which anti-smoking advertising exaggerates the risks associated with smoking. Further, these trends were significantly associated with various characteristics—most notably, ethnicity, smoking behaviors, and residence in a state with an ongoing tobacco-control program having a media component.