Objective: This paper examines overall and gender- and racial/ethnic-specific relationships between exposure to state-sponsored anti-tobacco televised advertising and smoking-related outcomes among US middle and high school students using five years of cross-sectional nationally representative data.
Design: Nationally representative 8th, 10th, and 12th grade student sample data for 1999-2003 were merged with commercial ratings data on mean potential audience exposure to network and cable television anti-tobacco advertising across the 74 largest US designated market areas, resulting in a final sample size for analysis of 122,340. Associations between state-sponsored anti-tobacco televised advertising exposure and youth smoking-related beliefs and behaviours were modelled while controlling for relevant individual and environmental factors as well as other televised tobacco-related advertising.
Results: Higher potential for exposure to state anti-tobacco advertising within the previous four months was generally associated with decreasing odds of current smoking across groups. In addition, such exposure was related, to varying degrees, with decreased perceptions that most/all friends smoked, stronger five-year intentions not to smoke, and increased perceived harm of smoking. These relationships appeared possibly to be weaker for Asian students.
Conclusions: The results from these analyses indicate that state anti-tobacco advertising significantly relates to beneficial outcomes -- especially regarding current smoking behaviour -- among US youth as a whole.