Influence of Pro-Smoking Media Messages

by Jenny Novac on November 20, 2013


A new RAND Corporation study showed that the exposure to just one pro-smoking media message increases in students risks of using tobacco for next 7 days. This data gives new information about the influence of media on smoking. To not that the RAND is a nonprofit research organization.

The aim othe study was to find out how tobacco ads and other pro-smoking media messages influence people. The results of study were published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Researchers of the study say that their findings are very important for futher establishments of policies which restrict tobacco advertising and other efforts which are intended for reduction of tobacco use among youth.

One of the authors of the study and the psychologist at RAND, Steven Martino, said they were surprised to see that  the influence of pro-smoking messages lasted for a long time. This made scientists to suppose that positive media messages about smoking are likely to influence behavior even if opportunities to smoke occur rarely.

In the study participated 134 students from a Pittsburgh college. They were aged between 18 to 24 and they received special devices that permitted them to document their exposure to pro-smoking media messages during their everyday life over a period of three weeks. In the study participated both regular smokers and non-smokers.

After participants saw a pro-smoking ads, they answered on a number of questions in order to find out about their ability to refuse tobacco. Also they answered these questions at other times during the day when they were not exposed to pro-smoking ads.

The results of the study helps the researchers to see how long last the effects of exposure to a pro-smoking ads or message. Thus it was found that after exposure to a just one pro-smoking message, smoking intentions rapidly increased by almost 22%. Though smoking intentions lowered with each passing day, they remained high enough for seven days.

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