Effectiveness of comprehensive tobacco control programmes in reducing teenage smoking in the USA
- aHealth Research and Policy Centers, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA, bDepartment of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Melanie Wakefield PhD, Visiting Research Scientist, Health Research and Policy Centers, University of Illinois at Chicago, 850 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 400, Chicago, Illinois 60607, USA;
- Received 26 August 1999
- Revised 18 February 2000
- Accepted 25 February 2000
OBJECTIVE To describe the extent to which comprehensive statewide tobacco control programmes in the USA have made progress toward reducing teenage smoking.
DATA SOURCES Literature search of Medline for reviews of effectiveness of programme and policy elements, plus journal articles and personal request for copies of publicly released reports and working papers from evaluation staff in each of the state programmes of California, Massachusetts, Arizona, Oregon, and Florida.
STUDY SELECTION All studies, reports, and commentaries that provided information on aspects of programme implementation and evaluation.
DATA SYNTHESIS Statewide comprehensive programmes show high levels of advertising recall and generally positive improvement in smoking related beliefs and attitudes among teenagers. More fully funded programmes lead to increased mass media campaign advertising and community initiatives; a greater capacity to implement school based smoking prevention programmes; and an increase in the passage of local ordinances that create smoke free indoor environments and reduce cigarette sales to youth. The combination of programme activity and increased tobacco tax reduce cigarette consumption more than expected as a result of price increases alone, and these effects seem to apply to adolescents as well as adults. Programmes are associated with a decline in adult smoking prevalence, with these effects observed to date in California, Massachusetts, and Oregon. Arizona and Florida have yet to examine change in adult prevalence associated with programme exposure. California and Massachusetts have demonstrated relative beneficial effects in teenage smoking prevalence, and Florida has reported promising indications of reduced prevalence. Arizona has yet to report follow up data, and Oregon has found no change in teenage smoking, but has only two years of follow up available. One of the most critical factors in programme success is the extent of programme funding, and consequent level of programme implementation, and the degree to which this is undermined by the tobacco industry and other competitors for funding.
CONCLUSIONS Despite the different strengths and combinations of programme messages and strategies used in these comprehensive programmes, there is evidence that they lead to change in factors that influence teenage smoking, and to reductions in teenage smoking.