The proposed research focuses on the role of mass media in state and community tobacco control efforts. The overarching goals of the proposed project are a) to develop an understanding of the amount and variety of tobacco-related information that both smokers and nonsmokers encounter across media platforms, and b) to analyze the relationships between that information and attitudes, beliefs and smoking behavior. This research is critically important for state and community tobacco control efforts because the mass media landscape has fundamentally transformed over the past five years, to include platforms such as increasingly sophisticated internet marketing and advertising strategies, social networking (e.g., facebook, twitter, and youtube), mobile messaging, and the growing fragmentation of traditional broadcast media. As a result, the amount and variety of pro- and anti-tobacco information available across media platforms has proliferated. Yet, there is very little detailed public information available about which new media is commonly used, or how much they are used across demographic groups. In addition, little is known about the extent to which smokers and non-smokers are exposed to pro- and anti-tobacco information, or how much tobacco-related information seeking and exchange is conducted across media platforms. The proposed research will conduct the first large-scale survey on new media consumption, exposure to smoking-related advertising and information seeking and exchange related to smoking/quitting across traditional and new media platforms. By combining existing data on exposure to smoking-related messages on TV, with new data collected as part of the proposed research, this project will provide the first comprehensive description of the amount and variety of pro- and anti-tobacco information that smokers and non-smokers encounter passively, and which they actively seek out and exchange. With these data, we will be able to explore whether, and the extent to which, smoking-related information delivered across various media platforms is associated with attitudes and smoking behaviors. Further, these data will enable us to examine whether and how the various type's tobacco-related information and media interact with each other.
Rapid changes in the media landscape have created opportunities and challenges for tobacco control. This project will provide the first comprehensive description of pro-and anti-tobacco messages that Americans are exposed to, and actively seek out and exchange across new and traditional media platforms. We will analyze the impact of this tobacco-related information on smoking behavior, and identify the most efficient and effective ways to promote tobacco control and combat pro-tobacco information across media platforms.
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