The proposed research will investigate the impact of smoking-related TV advertisements on whether and how much youth, young adults, and adults smoke, and how they think about smoking. Over the past 15 years, individuals across the US have been exposed to a growing number and variety of smoking-related advertising. The amount and mix of such advertisements has varied across states and over time. In recent years, several states have dramatically cut or even eliminated their funding for anti-smoking media campaigns and ads for pharmaceutical cessation aides have multiplied, and tobacco industry- sponsored ads have shifted from predominantly youth- to parent-focused campaigns. There is limited knowledge about how the variety and volume of such advertisements affect individuals'smoking behaviors or attitudes about smoking, and little is known about and whether qualitative characteristics of anti-smoking advertisements, such as primary message, target audience, and quality of the production, affect the relationship between exposure to such ads and smoking-related outcomes. The proposed project will fill in these important gaps. This project will take advantage of a unique combination of data on advertisement ratings, purchased from Nielsen Media Research, individual-level smoking behavior data, and data on state- level tobacco control policies. Using multi-level statistical models, the project will explore the impact of all types of smoking-related advertising on smoking behavior among youth, young adults and adults, controlling for individual characteristics and state-level tobacco control policies. Project Relevance: This research is important because smoking remains the leading cause of preventable deaths in the US, and television advertising is one of the most effective media for health communications. States and the Federal government spend tens of millions of dollars annually on anti-smoking and other public health advertising, but little is known about the impact of such ads. The proposed study represents the most comprehensive exploration of the relationship between smoking-related media campaigns and population smoking behavior undertaken to date.
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