Getting to the Truth: Evaluating National Tobacco Countermarketing Campaigns

American Legacy Foundation, Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 07/2002; 92(6):901-7. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.92.6.901
Source: PubMed


This study examines how the American Legacy Foundation's "truth" campaign and Philip Morris's "Think. Don't Smoke" campaign have influenced youths' attitudes, beliefs, and intentions toward tobacco.
We analyzed 2 telephone surveys of 12- to 17-year-olds with multivariate logistic regressions: a baseline survey conducted before the launch of "truth" and a second survey 10 months into the "truth" campaign.
Exposure to "truth" countermarketing advertisements was consistently associated with an increase in anti-tobacco attitudes and beliefs, whereas exposure to Philip Morris advertisements generally was not. In addition, those exposed to Philip Morris advertisements were more likely to be open to the idea of smoking.
Whereas exposure to the "truth" campaign positively changed youths' attitudes toward tobacco, the Philip Morris campaign had a counterproductive influence.

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Available from: Cheryl G Healton, Feb 16, 2014
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    • "Social responsibility ads often indicate the party who is or should be acting and the action required to resolve a social problem; for example, an ad may indicate a bank hires physically challenged persons or sponsors a consumer education program (Newberry 1989). Ads describing socially responsible behavior are most effective if they feature the ad sponsor's actions (Farrelly et al. 2002; Siegel and Biener 2000). Of course, social responsibility ads may suggest non-sponsors should alter their behaviors or merely broach the problem without suggesting a change agent. "

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    • "In public health, information campaigns have been used to promote safer sexual practices (Alstead et al., 1999), regular monitoring of health (Fender et al., 1999; Black et al., 2002), cessation of smoking (Siegel and Beiner, 2000; Farrelly et al., 2002), and reduction in transmission of infectious diseases (Preston, 1996). Nutrition labels on food products aim to motivate appropriate choice in one's diet (some relatively recent examples are Harnack and French, 2008; Downs et al., 2009; Wisdom et al., 2010). "
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