Overview

 

Youth Smoking and the Media
ImpacTeen Program Office
University of Illinois at Chicago
Institute for Health Research and Policy
1747 West Roosevelt Road
Room 558, M/C 275
Chicago, Illinois 60608

Telephone: 312.413.0475
Facsimile: 312.355.2801

While there is evidence that anti-smoking advertising can influence tobacco use, not all campaigns report these effects for youth. In addition, some studies suggest news coverage on tobacco can lead to reductions in consumption, but few studies have examined the effects of news coverage on youth smoking. This 4-year project will relate indices of televised anti-smoking advertising and tobacco news coverage, to data on smoking-related attitudes, intentions and behavior from annual surveys of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade youth. This design aims to tap the variation in anti-smoking advertising and news coverage that has occurred over time and between communities in the United States, effectively generating a natural experiment.

The project will use archival data to construct indices of exposure to anti-smoking advertising using gross rating points (TRPs) in each selected community from 1994 through 2002. Indices of ‘effectiveness-adjusted’ TRPs will be constructed, based upon youth responses to a sample of advertisements that represent the universe of ads in the database. In addition, measures of exposure to newspaper stories about tobacco issues for community from October 2000 through December 2002 will be constructed using news clip data from Burrelle’s Information Service and mapped to communities through information on newspaper circulation from the Audit Bureau of Circulation. Newspaper articles will be coded for content area and slant, as well as a number of measures of prominence.

The project builds on the work of ImpacTeen, which is collecting data on trends, markets, policies, legislation, enforcement, treatment, educational programs, tobacco advertising, and other environmental factors in a representative sample of US communities. The analysis will explore the relative impact of television anti-smoking advertising, newspaper coverage on tobacco, and other already collected measures of tobacco policy and environment (such as price, promotion and product placement in retail outlets, state and local laws relating to youth access, clean indoor air and tobacco advertising, price of cigarettes, school programs and more) on indices of youth smoking.

This study, by assessing the value of anti-smoking advertising and media coverage in reducing smoking among youth, will guide health policy and funding decisions related to youth smoking prevention.