The reach of a youth-oriented anti-tobacco media campaign on adult smokers

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2008 Jan 11;93(1-2):180-4. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2007.08.019. Epub 2007 Oct 25.


Background: It remains unclear whether youth-targeted anti-tobacco media campaigns reach adults. We examined the reach of the youth-oriented Florida "truth" campaign to (a) determine the extent to which adult smokers were aware of the campaign and (b) test if that awareness was associated with an intention to quit smoking in the next 30 days.

Methods: Data included 781 adult smokers who in 2001 participated in a 20-min telephone survey designed to examine the effects of the "truth" campaign in Florida. Participants were asked numerous questions aimed at measuring their awareness of the campaign and about their tobacco use.

Results: Awareness of the campaign was mixed with 21% confirming the "truth" campaign theme, 45% the "truth" logo, 62% "truth" advertising events, and 68% the "truth" advertising theme. Awareness of industry manipulation was the only variable significantly associated with smokers' intentions to quit (OR=1.66; 95% CI=1.34-2.05) in the multivariate model.

Conclusions: The "truth" anti-tobacco campaign targeted 12-17 year olds in an effort to prevent them from starting to smoke. Despite the awareness, the campaign did not have the "unintended consequence" of influencing adults' intentions to smoke. To change the behavior of adults it is not sufficient to have a youth-focused program.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Media*
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / rehabilitation*