Massachusetts' advertising against light cigarettes appears to change beliefs and behavior

Am J Prev Med. 2000 May;18(4):339-42. doi: 10.1016/s0749-3797(00)00125-2.


Objectives: This study examined the effects of advertising directed against light cigarettes (lights).

Methods: In a quasi-experimental post-test-only design, smokers and ex-smokers (</=1 year) in Massachusetts (MASS) (N=500) and the continental United States (U.S. ) (N=501) took part in random-digit dialing telephone interviews. We used multiple logistic regression analyses to control for gender, education, and age effects.

Results: Compared with the U.S., the MASS sample contained more, recent ex-smokers (10% vs. 7% in the U.S.) and more smokers of higher tar cigarettes (44% vs. 35% smokers of regular cigarettes); more U.S. respondents thought lights had at least a slim chance of reducing the risk of health problems (49% vs. 32%). Within MASS, smokers who saw anti-light ads were less likely to think lights decreased the risk of health problems (26% vs. 44%) and more likely to know of filter vents (64% vs. 47%). These effects remained statistically reliable after adjusting for confounders.

Conclusions: Amidst extensive anti-smoking efforts, the MASS campaign to counter-market light cigarettes appears to promote smoking cessation and to inform smokers of the risks of light cigarettes. Further counter-marketing efforts should be encouraged.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Advertising*
  • Age Distribution
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotiana / classification*
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology