Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the short-term effects of television advertisements from the Florida "truth" campaign on rates of smoking initiation.
Methods: A follow-up survey of young people aged 12 to 17 years (n = 1820) interviewed during the first 6 months of the advertising campaign was conducted. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the independent effects of the campaign on smoking initiation while other factors were controlled for.
Results: Youths scoring at intermediate and high levels on a media effect index were less likely to initiate smoking than youths who could not confirm awareness of television advertisements. Adjusted odds ratios between the media index and measures of initiation were similar within categories of age, sex, susceptibility, and whether a parent smoked.
Conclusions: Exposure to the "truth" media campaign lowered the risk of youth smoking initiation. However, the analysis did not demonstrate that all such media programs will be effective.