University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 100

Abstract 1990-1999

Worden JK. Research in using mass media to prevent smoking. Nicotine Tob Res. 1999;(1 Suppl 1):S117-21. [Comment in: Nicotine Tob Res. 1999;(1 Suppl 1):S111-2.]

Mass media are particularly appropriate for reaching young people in smoking-prevention campaigns; however, past research has placed little emphasis on designing effective interventions. Only a few studies have been conducted to develop and evaluate methods to use media for smoking reduction among youth, and only one quasi-experimental study has demonstrated actual reductions in youth smoking. This research requires the use of large controlled field studies that cross disciplines. These lack an established funding base. Furthermore, campaign approaches seeking to reduce youth demand for tobacco products are currently receiving less attention from anti-tobacco policy makers than approaches restricting the supply of tobacco to youth. Scientists from various health behavior and education disciplines should join with creative media production professionals to develop more effective messages and message delivery systems to reach youth at high risk of smoking. Further efforts should be made to share information among these professionals and producers of entertainment programs for youth, as well as among anti-tobacco policy makers, so that the most effective approaches can be employed to reduce youth smoking on a broad scale.

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