According to the latest CDC youth tobacco use, each day in the United States, approximately 3,900 young people between 12 and 17 years of age smoke their first cigarette, and an estimated 1,000 youth become daily cigarette smokers.                       On November 18, the American Cancer Society is celebrating the 35th Great American Smokeout and encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.

To celebrate the event, we highlighted studies that explored various youth anti-smoking programs and strategies:

Vardavas, C.I., Symvoulakis, E.K., Connolly, G.N., Patelarou, E., & Lionis, C. (2010). What defines an effective anti-tobacco TV advertisement? A pilot study among Greek adolescents. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 7(1), 78-88.  FREE ARTICLE

  • Researchers found that ads that were viewed by the adolescents as having a clear message, having  message that is important to them, and making them "stop and think," tended to be rated as being more effective. Advertisements that elicited emotions, such as fear, anger and sadness, also tended to be rated more effective. 

Rhodes, N. , Roskos-Ewoldsen, D., Eno, C.A. & Monahan, J.L. (2009). The content of cigarette counter-advertising: Are perceived functions of smoking addressed? Journal of Health Communication, 14(7), 658-673. FREE ARTICLE

  • Researchers found that adolescents were the most common targets of the anti-smoking advertisements. Ads for younger audiences focused on the social image of smokers, negative influences of smoking on athletes, and attacking the tobacco industry. Researchers suggested that anti-smoking advertisements need to address what teens think are the benefits of smoking in order to be more effective.

Primack, B.A., Fine, D, Yang CK, Wickett D., & Zickmund S. (2009). Adolescents' impressions of antismoking media literacy education: Qualitative results from a randomized controlled trial. Health Educ Res, 24(4), 608-621.  FREE ARTICLE

  • Researchers found that the media literacy anti-smoking program received positive ratings from the students. They concluded that, although anti-smoking media literacy programs seemed to be a good approach, introducing some components of more traditional approaches might increase the effectiveness of an anti-smoking program.

Whittaker, R. et al. (2008). A multimedia mobile phone-based youth smoking cessation intervention: Findings from content development and piloting studies. J Med Internet Res. 10(5), e49. FREE ARTICLE

  • For 4 weeks, participants received 2 messages per day on their cell phones that included text messages, anti-tobacco video clips, and videos of role models talking about smoking and quitting. Of the participants, 9 actually quit smoking and said the program had helped them to do it.

Edwards, C., Oakes, W., & Bull, D. (2007). Out of the smokescreen II: Will an advertisement targeting the tobacco industry affect young people's perception of smoking in movies and their intention to smoke? Tob Control. 16(3), 177–181. FREE ARTICLE

  • Researchers found that compared to participants that did not see the anti-smoking message, non-smokers that did see the message were more likely to see glamorous portrayals of smoking as “not OK”.

Farrelly, M.C., Niederdeppe, J., & Yarsevich, J. (2003). Youth tobacco prevention mass media campaigns: Past, present, and future directions. Tob Control, 12 Suppl 1,i35-47.  FREE ARTICLE

  • Researchers found that mass media prevention campaigns can be effective, but that they are most likely to be effective when paired with school or community based programs.

Looking for more resources? This list of youth web sites offers links to state resources and organizations throughout the U.S.

2 Responses to “Research Toolbox: Youth Anti-Smoking Strategies”

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