A computer simulation model of mass media interventions directed at tobacco use

Prev Med. 2001 Mar;32(3):284-94. doi: 10.1006/pmed.2000.0808.


Objectives: The goal of this study was to develop a simulation model to examine the effects of tobacco control mass media interventions on smoking rates and smoking-attributable deaths.

Methods: The model projects the number of smokers and smoking-related deaths. Based on empirical and theoretical research, the effects of media interventions, varying in magnitude and duration, directed at all smokers and directed specifically at youth under age 18 are modeled.

Results: The model predicts that sustained media interventions of sufficient magnitude and duration directed at all smokers have the potential to substantially reduce the number of smokers and premature deaths, with the effects growing over time. For the same expenditures, youth interventions would appear to have smaller and more delayed effects.

Conclusions: Media interventions, particularly those targeted at the general population and of sufficient scale and duration, have the ability to substantially reduce smoking rates and save lives, but their effects are likely to depend on how they are implemented.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Mass Media*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Tobacco Use Cessation / methods*
  • United States / epidemiology