Exposure to pro-smoking media in college students: does type of media channel differentially contribute to smoking risk?

Ann Behav Med. 2013 Jun;45(3):387-92. doi: 10.1007/s12160-012-9461-7.


Background: There are almost no data on whether the different channels through which pro-smoking media appear (i.e., point-of-sale advertising, movie smoking) differently influence smoking.

Purpose: This study used ecological momentary assessment to examine whether differences in smoking risk were observed for exposures to different pro-smoking media channels.

Methods: College students (n = 134) carried smartphones for 21 days, recording their exposures to pro-smoking media and the media channels for that exposure and responding to three randomly issued control prompts per day. Participants answered questions about their future smoking risk after each pro-smoking media exposure and random prompt.

Results: Participants had elevated future smoking risk following exposure to pro-smoking media at point of sale (p < 0.001); smoking risk at times of exposure to smoking in movies did not differ from risk measured during control prompts (p = 0.78).

Conclusions: There is merit to examining the relative contribution of different pro-smoking media channels to smoking behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone
  • Computers, Handheld
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Media*
  • Risk
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Universities
  • Young Adult