Publications

Effects of tobacco-related media campaigns on smoking among 20-30-year-old adults: longitudinal data from the USA

OBJECTIVE: Young adults in the USA have one of the highest smoking prevalence rates of any age group, and young adulthood is a critical time period of targeting by the tobacco industry. The authors examined relationships between potential exposure to tobacco-related media campaigns from a variety of sponsors and 2-year smoking change measures among a longitudinal sample of US adults aged 20-30 years from 2001 to 2008. METHODS: Self-report data were collected from a longitudinal sample of 12,931 US young adults from age 20 to 30. These data were merged with tobacco-related advertising exposure data from Nielsen Media Research. Two-year measures of change in smoking were regressed on advertising exposures. RESULTS: Two-year smoking uptake was unrelated to advertising exposure. The odds of quitting among all smokers and reduction among daily smokers in the 2 years between the prior and current survey were positively related to anti-tobacco advertising, especially potential exposure levels of 104-155 ads over the past 24 months. Tobacco company advertising (including corporate image and anti-smoking) and pharmaceutical industry advertising were unrelated to quitting or reduction. CONCLUSION: Continued support for sustained, public health-based well-funded anti-tobacco media campaigns may help reduce tobacco use among young adults.