The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5002.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 9:06 AM

Abstract #45012

Conveying the truth about tobacco industry practices: A key to the truth strategy

James C. Hersey, PhD1, Jeff Niederdeppe, MA1, Kevin Davis, MA2, and Jane Appleyard3. (1) Research Triangle Institute, 1615 M St. (Suite 740), Washington, DC 20036, 202/728-2486,, (2) Tobacco Use Research Program, Research Triangle Institute, 3040 Cornwallis Rd, Durham, NC 27709, (3) American Legacy Foundation, 1001 G St., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20001

This presentation addresses a key premise of the American Legacy Foundation's truthsm media campaign: that educating youth about tobacco industry marketing practices can motivate young people to assert their independence by rejecting tobacco use. Tobacco companies have historically marketed cigarettes as glamorous and socially appealing without mentioning the addictive nature and the negative health effects of tobacco use.

Evidence from several states, including California, Florida, and Massachusetts, demonstrates the success of the counter-industry media approach toward significant changes in smoking behavior among targeted populations. However, little research examines how these campaigns succeed in preventing the initiation of smoking. Campaign proponents have theorized that messages portraying the glamorous portrayal of cigarette advertising may “inoculate” teens from the persuasive appeal of these messages. Others hypothesize that changing beliefs about the practices of the tobacco industry will prompt youth to assert their independence from tobacco, particularly among youth who resent authority and control.

Using a series of three national telephone surveys, involving more than 20,000 teens and young adults, we examine the pathways through which exposure to the truthsm campaign and beliefs about tobacco industry practices influence smoking uptake. We utilize ordered probit analysis and structural equation modeling to explicate the theory behind the truthsm strategy, controlling for respondent age, gender, race/ethnicity and the cost of tobacco. Participants will learn how the truthsm campaign employs the counter-industry strategy to influence beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behavior related to smoking.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Tobacco, Media Campaigns

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: American Legacy Foundation
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.

Legacy’s Truth(sm) Campaign: Understanding the Effectiveness of Truth(sm) as a Brand

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA