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Cancer Control Research

5R01CA086273-04
Wakefield, Melanie A.
YOUTH SMOKING AND THE MEDIA

Abstract

DESCRIPTION: (Applicant's Description) While there is evidence that counteradvertising about tobacco 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 no studies have examined the effects of news coverage on youth smoking. This project aims to relate counteradvertising on television, and news coverage of tobacco issues, to measures of youth smoking across the United States. The project will build on the work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded 'Bridging the Gap' project which links data from the Monitoring the Future surveys (MTFS) of 8 , 10 and 12 graders, to a project called 'ImpacTeen', which measures tobacco policy and environmental influences relevant to tobacco prevailing in each participating schools' community. The proposed project will use archival data from Nielsen Media Research to construct indices of exposure to counteradvertising (expenditure, gross rating points and teen-target rating points (TRPs) in each MTF community from 1994 through 2002, including the subset that comprise ImpacTeen sites from 1999 through 2002. Validation of the archival data set will be undertaken by reference to media purchase and placement records for the California Tobacco Control Program, and by reference to measures of recall of counteradvertising in the MTF surveys. Indices of 'effectiveness-adjusted' TRPs will be constructed, based upon focus group discussions with teenagers and input from an expert panel of people with experience in developing and assessing tobacco counteradvertising messages. In addition, measures of exposure to newspaper stories about tobacco issues for each MTFS site from 1999 through 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. For each community, indices of extent and tone of newspaper coverage on tobacco overall and for specific tobacco topics will be made using the metric of equivalent column inch advertising rate. Econometric techniques will be used to relate the extent of counteradvertising and extent of newspaper coverage to attitudes about smoking, and measures of youth smoking, including intention to smoke, smoking prevalence, consumption, and intention and attempts to quit. The analysis will also explore the relative impact of counteradvertising, 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 counteradvertising and media coverage in reducing smoking among youth, will guide health policy and health funding decisions related to youth smoking prevention.


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