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The Influence of Tobacco Marketing and Counter-advertising on Smoking Initiation among Youth

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Project Summary:

In this project, we conducted a longitudinal, follow-up survey of youth interviewed in the 1993 Massachusetts Tobacco Survey. This project is taking advantage of a natural experiment - the implementation of a comprehensive, statewide anti-smoking campaign in Massachusetts in 1993 - to examine the influence of two specific intervention strategies (local tobacco control ordinances and statewide anti-smoking media campaigns) and one specific tobacco marketing practice (specialty item promotions) on smoking initiation among a cohort of youth during a four-year follow-up period. The broad goal of this project is to help policy makers and public health program planners to develop a more effective overall strategy to prevent tobacco use. This goal will be accomplished through three specific objectives: 1. to determine whether local ordinances that restrict smoking in public places, workplaces, and restaurants and ordinances that regulate the sale of tobacco to minors are effective in preventing smoking initiation; 2. to determine whether the Massachusetts anti-tobacco media campaign is effective in preventing smoking initiation; and 3. to determine whether youth who participate in tobacco specialty item promotions are more likely to start smoking or to become susceptible to smoking The 1993 Massachusetts Tobacco Survey of youth was based on a probability sample of Massachusetts housing units with telephones drawn using random-digit-dial techniques. The final sample included 1606 teens, 1066 of whom were between the ages of 12 and 15. For the current study, we successfully re-interviewed 627 of these 1066 individuals who are now approximately 15 through 19 years old (overall response rate = 59%). In addition to measuring the predictor variables (exposure to tobacco specialty item promotions, exposure to counteradvertising, and living in a town with a clean indoor air or youth access ordinance) and outcome variables (change in smoking status, movement along the smoking initiation continuum), we are measuring several intermediate variables that may mediate the relationship between advertising and behavior. These include: measures of the accessibility of cigarettes, media literacy, brand awareness, insight into the purpose of advertising, attitudes regarding the tobacco industry, and feelings regarding the social utility of smoking.In this project, we conducted a longitudinal, follow-up survey of youth interviewed in the 1993 Massachusetts Tobacco Survey. This project is taking advantage of a natural experiment - the implementation of a comprehensive, statewide anti-smoking campaign in Massachusetts in 1993 - to examine the influence of two specific intervention strategies (local tobacco control ordinances and statewide anti-smoking media campaigns) and one specific tobacco marketing practice (specialty item promotions) on smoking initiation among a cohort of youth during a four-year follow-up period. The broad goal of this project is to help policy makers and public health program planners to develop a more effective overall strategy to prevent tobacco use. This goal will be accomplished through three specific objectives: 1. to determine whether local ordinances that restrict smoking in public places, workplaces, and restaurants and ordinances that regulate the sale of tobacco to minors are effective in preventing smoking initiation; 2. to determine whether the Massachusetts anti-tobacco media campaign is effective in preventing smoking initiation; and 3. to determine whether youth who participate in tobacco specialty item promotions are more likely to start smoking or to become susceptible to smoking The 1993 Massachusetts Tobacco Survey of youth was based on a probability sample of Massachusetts housing units with telephones drawn using random-digit-dial techniques. The final sample included 1606 teens, 1066 of whom were between the ages of 12 and 15. For the current study, we successfully re-interviewed 627 of these 1066 individuals who are now approximately 15 through 19 years old (overall response rate = 59%). In addition to measuring the predictor variables (exposure to tobacco specialty item promotions, exposure to counteradvertising, and living in a town with a clean indoor air or youth access ordinance) and outcome variables (change in smoking status, movement along the smoking initiation continuum), we are measuring several intermediate variables that may mediate the relationship between advertising and behavior. These include: measures of the accessibility of cigarettes, media literacy, brand awareness, insight into the purpose of advertising, attitudes regarding the tobacco industry, and feelings regarding the social utility of smoking.



 
   
 
 
     
   
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