Prevention of cigarette smoking through mass media intervention and school programs

Am J Public Health. 1992 Jun;82(6):827-34. doi: 10.2105/ajph.82.6.827.


Objectives: In this study we tested the ability of mass media interventions to enhance the efficacy of school cigarette smoking prevention programs.

Methods: For 4 years, students in one pair of communities received media interventions and school programs that had common educational objectives. Students in a matched pair of communities received only the school programs. The combined cohort of 5458 students was surveyed at baseline in grades 4, 5, and 6 and was followed up annually for 4 years.

Results: Significant reductions in reported smoking, along with consistent effects on targeted mediating variables, were observed for the media-and-school group. For cigarettes per week the reduction was 41% (2.6 vs 4.4); for smoking cigarettes yesterday the reduction was 34% (8.6% vs 13.1%); and for smoking in the past week the reduction was 35% (12.8% vs 19.8%). No effects were observed for substance use behaviors not targeted by the interventions.

Conclusions: These results provide evidence that mass media interventions are effective in preventing cigarette smoking when they are carefully targeted at high-risk youths and share educational objectives with school programs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Health Promotion / standards*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Life Style
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mass Media / standards*
  • Montana
  • New York
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Program Evaluation
  • School Health Services / organization & administration
  • School Health Services / standards*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Vermont