Tobacco Industry Manipulation Messages in Anti-Smoking Public Service Announcements

The Effect of Explicitly Versus Implicitly Delivering Messages

Published In: Addictive Behaviors, v. 35, no. 5, May 2010, p. 526-529

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2010

by William G. Shadel, Craig S. Fryer, Shannah Tharp-Gilliam

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Message content in anti-smoking public service announcements (PSAs) can be delivered explicitly (directly with concrete statements) or implicitly (indirectly via metaphor), and the method of delivery may affect the efficacy of those PSAs. The purpose of this study was to conduct an initial test of this idea using tobacco industry manipulation PSAs in adolescents. A 2 (age: 11-14 years old; 15-17 years old)x2 (message delivery: implicit, explicit) mixed model design was used. There was a significant main effect of message delivery: Tobacco industry manipulation PSAs that delivered their messages explicitly were associated with stronger levels of smoking resistance self-efficacy compared to tobacco industry manipulation PSAs that delivered their messages implicitly. No significant main effects of age were found nor were any interactions between age and message delivery. These results suggest that message delivery factors should be taken into account when designing anti-smoking PSAs.

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