Television advertising for the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program (MTCP) was launched in 1993. The campaign's first three years were examined against an analytical framework based in behavioral change and communications theory. The most common focus in the 49 advertisements was tobacco industry practices, followed by health consequences for smokers and smoking prevention. Only one smoking prevention advertisement was targeted to children younger that age 13. Only four advertisements mentioned policy actions to reduce youth access or curtail exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. Only two advertisements listed the telephone number for the MTCP's smoking cessation program. The television campaign was uncoordinated with the MTCP's community-level programs.