How state counter-industry campaigns help prime perceptions of tobacco industry practices to promote reductions in youth smoking
Objective: This study assessed the impact of state media campaigns that prominently feature counter-industry messages on youth cigarette smoking, beyond the effects of price, secular trends, tobacco control efforts, and the national truth® campaign. Methods: Rates of youth smoking were compared in three groups of states: (1) those with long funded counter-industry campaigns (California, Florida, and Massachusetts); (2) states with more recently funded counter-industry media campaigns (Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, and New Jersey); and (3) other states. An analysis was performed for a series of national telephone surveys of 12–17 year olds between 1999 and 2002, controlling for differences in demographic background, the price of cigarettes, and exposure to the national truth® campaign. Results: Between 1999 and 2002, rates of current smoking and established smoking decreased significantly faster in states with established or more newly funded counter-industry campaigns than in other states. State counter-industry campaigns appear to prime, or make more salient, negative perceptions about tobacco industry practices. Conclusion: Results highlight the value of continued state counter-industry campaigns.