University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 16

Abstract 1980-1989

Worden JK, Flynn BS, Geller BM, Chen M, Shelton LG, Secker-Walker RH, Solomon DS, Solomon LJ, Couchey S, Costanza MC. Development of a smoking prevention mass media program using diagnostic and formative research. Prev Med. 1988 Sep;17(5):531-58.

The process of developing a mass media campaign to prevent smoking among adolescents is described in detail. This campaign supplements a school smoking prevention program and shares educational objectives with the school program but is otherwise independent. It comprises various television and radio 30- and 60-sec "spot" messages. The campaign development process includes identifying educational objectives and strategies for appealing to young people; conducting diagnostic surveys and focus groups to determine target audience interests and perceptions about smoking and media content; suggesting approaches to producers to create preliminary television and radio messages for testing; conducting formative pretests with target groups to select optimal messages and suggest improvements to those messages; producing final messages for media presentation; and developing a media exposure plan to place messages in local media at optimal times for reception by target audiences. The media campaign is being evaluated in a 5-year project with 5,500 adolescents in four communities to determine the additional effect of mass media over a school program alone in preventing smoking.

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