Sherry Emery, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues examined the association between exposure to state anti-tobacco advertising and youth smoking-related beliefs and behaviours.
The researchers used targeted ratings point (TRPs) to assess the ratings of an advertisement among U.S. teen audiences. This information was combined with survey data from school-based samples of 51,085 students in the contiguous 48 states.
The researchers found that among survey respondents, 14 percent had an average of zero exposures to state-sponsored advertisements in the last four months, 65 percent of the students had an average exposure greater than zero, but less than one, and 21 percent had an average exposure of one or more state-sponsored anti-tobacco advertisements.
Students in states with a TRP measure of one or higher were significantly less likely to report having smoked in the past 30 days (18.6 percent) compared with those in markets with no exposure to anti-tobacco advertisements (26.7 percent). Those with one or more state TRPs were more likely to perceive great harm from smoking one or more packs of cigarettes per day (72.1 percent vs. 65.1 percent).
Also, students living in areas with an average exposure of at least one state-sponsored anti-tobacco advertisement were more likely to say that they believed they would definitely not be smoking in five years (64 percent vs. 55.3 percent).
"Our analyses suggest that state-sponsored anti-tobacco media campaigns were associated with more favourable antismoking attitudes and beliefs among youth and reduced youth smoking,” the authors write.
MEDICA.de; Source: American Medical Association (AMA)