Increasing youths' exposure to a tobacco prevention media campaign in rural and low-population-density communities

Am J Public Health. 2009 Dec;99(12):2210-6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.155127. Epub 2009 Oct 15.


Objectives: We examined the effectiveness of a program to increase exposure to national "truth" tobacco countermarketing messages among youths in rural and low-population-density communities.

Methods: A longitudinal survey of 2618 youths aged 12 to 17 years was conducted over 5 months in 8 media markets receiving supplemental advertising and 8 comparison markets receiving less than the national average of "truth" messages.

Results: Confirmed awareness of "truth" increased from 40% to 71% among youths in treatment markets while remaining stable in comparison markets. Over 35% of all youths who were unaware of the campaign at baseline became aware of it as a direct result of the increased advertising. Youths living in rural and low-population-density communities were receptive to the campaign's messages.

Conclusions: Through purchase of airtime in local broadcast media, the reach of a national tobacco countermarketing campaign was expanded among youths living in rural and low-population-density areas. This strategy of augmenting delivery of nationally broadcast antitobacco ads can serve as a model for leveraging limited tobacco control resources to increase the impact of evidence-based tobacco prevention campaigns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Female
  • Health Promotion* / economics
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mass Media* / economics
  • Rural Population
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • United States