Exposure to Pro-Smoking Media in College Students

Does Type of Media Channel Differentially Contribute to Smoking Risk?

Published in: Annals of Behavioral Medicine, v. 45, no. 3, June 2013, p. 387-392

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2013

by William G. Shadel, Steven C. Martino, Claude Messan Setodji, Deborah M. Scharf

BACKGROUND: There are almost no data on whether the different channels through which pro-smoking media appear (i.e., point-of-sale advertising, movie smoking) differently influence smoking. PURPOSE: This study used ecological momentary assessment to examine whether differences in smoking risk were observed for exposures to different pro-smoking media channels. METHODS: College students (n  = 134) carried smartphones for 21 days, recording their exposures to pro-smoking media and the media channels for that exposure and responding to three randomly issued control prompts per day. Participants answered questions about their future smoking risk after each pro-smoking media exposure and random prompt. RESULTS: Participants had elevated future smoking risk following exposure to pro-smoking media at point of sale (p < 0.001); smoking risk at times of exposure to smoking in movies did not differ from risk measured during control prompts (p = 0.78). CONCLUSIONS: There is merit to examining the relative contribution of different pro-smoking media channels to smoking behavior.

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