Effects of a national campaign on youth beliefs and perceptions about electronic cigarettes and smoking
MacMonegle, A. J., Smith, A. A., Duke, J., Bennett, M., Siegel-Reamer, L. R., Pitzer, L., Speer, J. L., & Zhao, X. (2022). Effects of a national campaign on youth beliefs and perceptions about electronic cigarettes and smoking. Preventing chronic disease, 19, Article E16. https://doi.org/10.5888/pcd19.210332
Introduction Our study assesses the relationship between the exposure of youth to the US Food and Drug Administration's national tobacco public education campaign, The Real Cost, and changes in campaign focused risk perceptions and beliefs. Methods A nationally representative cohort study of youth was conducted from June 2018 to July 2019, consisting of a baseline and one follow-up survey. We performed logistic regressions to examine the association between campaign exposure and beliefs. Exposure was measured by self-report as the frequency of exposure to individual campaign advertisements about the health consequences of e-cigarette use and of smoking cigarettes. Results We found that increased levels of exposure to campaign advertising was associated with a significant increase in the odds of reporting agreement with campaign-specific beliefs. Positive patterns of findings were found across multiple items selected by specific advertisements, whereas unrelated beliefs were not associated with advertisement exposure. Conclusion A sustained national tobacco public education campaign can change beliefs about the harms of e-cigarette use and cigarette smoking among youth. Combined with other findings from The Real Cost evaluation, results indicate that prevention mass media campaigns continue to be an effective and cost-efficient approach to reduce the health and financial cost of tobacco use in the US.