Getting to the truth: evaluating national tobacco countermarketing campaigns

Am J Public Health. 2002 Jun;92(6):901-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.6.901.


Objectives: This study examines how the American Legacy Foundation's "truth" campaign and Philip Morris's "Think. Don't Smoke" campaign have influenced youths' attitudes, beliefs, and intentions toward tobacco.

Methods: We analyzed 2 telephone surveys of 12- to 17-year-olds with multivariate logistic regressions: a baseline survey conducted before the launch of "truth" and a second survey 10 months into the "truth" campaign.

Results: Exposure to "truth" countermarketing advertisements was consistently associated with an increase in anti-tobacco attitudes and beliefs, whereas exposure to Philip Morris advertisements generally was not. In addition, those exposed to Philip Morris advertisements were more likely to be open to the idea of smoking.

Conclusions: Whereas exposure to the "truth" campaign positively changed youths' attitudes toward tobacco, the Philip Morris campaign had a counterproductive influence.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advertising / methods*
  • Child
  • Data Collection
  • Deception
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Mass Media
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Psychology, Adolescent / statistics & numerical data*
  • Public Health*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Tobacco Industry / methods*
  • Tobacco Industry / standards
  • Tobacco Industry / statistics & numerical data
  • United States