Reductions in smoking prevalence and cigarette consumption associated with mass-media campaigns

Health Educ Res. 2002 Feb;17(1):85-98. doi: 10.1093/her/17.1.85.


This paper examines reductions in smoking prevalence and cigarette consumption associated with state and local mass-media campaigns. We review the findings of the empirical literature on campaigns targeted at the general population. We then discuss the findings on state- and community-level youth-oriented campaigns. The results suggest that well-funded and implemented mass-media campaigns targeted at the general population and implemented at the state level, in conjunction with a comprehensive tobacco control program, are associated with reduced smoking rates among both adults and youth. Studies of youth-oriented interventions specifically have shown more mixed results, particularly for smaller, community-level media programs, but they indicate strong potential to influence underage smoking rates. We conclude by examining issues that warrant additional research. The scale and duration of expenditures, the content of ad messages, and other tobacco control polices are aspects of media programs that may help explain differences among study results. In particular, tobacco control polices that are implemented during the campaign often make it difficult to identify the specific influence of media campaigns alone.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Health Expenditures
  • Health Promotion* / economics
  • Humans
  • Mass Media*
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • United States / epidemiology