4012.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Board 9

Abstract #9053

Using youth attitudes about tobacco to develop a statewide anti-tobacco media campaign

Dawn M. Berney, MPA1, Cristine Delnevo, PhD, MPH2, Susan Lenox Goldman, MA1, Cynthia Kirchner, MPH3, and Allison S. Gertel, BS1. (1) Division of Addiction Services, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, P.O. Box 362, Trenton, NJ 08625, 609-777-2163, dberney@doh.state.nj.us, (2) UMDNJ-School of Public Health, 170 Frelinghuysen Road, EOHSI - Room 236, Piscataway, NJ 08854, (3) Office of the Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, P.O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625

Through the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between the states and the tobacco companies, New Jersey will create and implement a sustained, comprehensive tobacco control program to decrease tobacco use among all populations, with a particular focus on youth. An important tool in the design of this program is the New Jersey Youth Tobacco Survey (NJYTS), which was completed by 16,000 middle and high school students in 165 New Jersey public, private and vocation schools in the fall of 1999.

In the light of the tobacco industry's media campaign targeting youth, the State set out to use the NJYTS to measure perceptions of positive and negative consequences of tobacco among youth. Among the survey's findings are that high school students are significantly more likely than middle school students to believe that tobacco use has beneficial effects (t=12.4, p<.0001), and less likely to believe in its harmful effects (t=-15.9, p<.0001; this suggests that intervention targeting attitude formation during the transition from middle school to high school may be especially valuable.

Further, the NJYTS found a strong association between current tobacco use and belief in beneficial effect (t=40.4, p<.0001) and disbelief in harmful effects of tobacco use (t=-36.8, p<.0001), giving the State reason to believe that this intervention targeting attitude formation would lead to a decrease in initiation of tobacco use among youth. These findings will be used in the establishment of a comprehensive awareness/marketing and communication campaign against tobacco use in New Jersey.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Tobacco, Media Message

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA