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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    • "Because youths aged 12–17 are at most risk for smoking initiation (Pierce, Choi, Gilpin, Farkas, & Merritt, 1996), TID campaigns have used " edgy " media tools to change youths' perception of the tobacco industry and intention to smoke (Farrelly, Davis, Haviland, Messeri, & Healton, 2005; Farrelly, Niederdeppe, & Yarsevich, 2003; Farrelly et al., 2002, 2005; Leatherdale, Sparks, & Kirsh, 2006). These campaigns have been shown to be increasingly effective in changing youth's attitudes against tobacco use (Stevens, 1998), and instituting anti-tobacco beliefs and intentions not to smoke (Cowell, Farrelly, Chou, & Vallone, 2009; Farrelly, Davis, Duke, & Messeri, 2009; Farrelly et al., 2002). Moreover , they have been associated with a decline in youth smoking prevalence , in combination with and independent of other tobacco control interventions (Bauer, Johnson, Hopkins, & Brooks, 2000; Biener, Harris, & Hamilton, 2000; Farrelly et al., 2005; Hersey et al., 2005; Pierce et al., 1998). "
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