The impact of anti-tobacco industry prevention messages in tobacco producing regions: evidence from the US truth campaign

Tob Control. 2004 Sep;13(3):283-8. doi: 10.1136/tc.2003.006403.


Background: Adolescents who live in tobacco producing regions may not respond favourably to anti-industry ads.

Objective: To examine whether state level involvement in tobacco production appears to limit the effectiveness of anti-industry ads to prevent tobacco use among adolescents in the USA.

Design: Time trend analyses were done using repeated cross sectional data from six waves of the Legacy Media Tracking Survey, which were collected between 1999 and 2003.

Setting and participants: 28,307 adolescents, ages 12-17 years, were classified as living in: tobacco producing states (TPS) (n = 1929); non-tobacco producing states (non-TPS) with low tobacco control funding comparable to TPS (n = 5323); non-TPS with relatively high funding (n = 15,076); and non-TPS with established anti-industry ad campaigns (n = 5979).

Main outcome measures: Reactions to anti-industry ads; strength of anti-industry attitudes/beliefs; changes in anti-industry attitudes/beliefs over time.

Results: Ad reactions did not differ by state type. Multivariate adjusted time trend analyses indicated significant, comparable increases in anti-industry attitudes/beliefs since the onset of the truth campaign, in both TPS and non-TPS. Mediation analyses indicated that these increases were due, in part, to campaign exposure.

Conclusions: Adolescents who live in tobacco producing regions appear to be as responsive to anti-industry ads as their counterparts in non-tobacco producing regions. This study provides further evidence for the effectiveness of such ads.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advertising*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Financing, Government
  • Health Promotion* / economics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Industry*
  • Truth Disclosure
  • United States