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Youth tobacco prevention mass media campaigns: past, present, and future directions
  1. M C Farrelly,
  2. J Niederdeppe,
  3. J Yarsevich
  1. Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Matthew C Farrelly, PhD, Tobacco Use Research Program, Health, Social and Economics Research, Research Triangle Institute, PO Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA; 


This paper focuses on countermarketing efforts aimed at curbing youth smoking. We review the literature on the effectiveness of tobacco countermarketing campaigns, characterise current state and national campaign approaches, present findings from qualitative approaches and laboratory experiments that explore a variety of messages (for example, health consequences, industry manipulation), and discuss newer, non-traditional approaches to countermarketing. In conclusion, we outline research needed to fill gaps in our existing knowledge and discuss future directions in tobacco countermarketing aimed at youth.

  • adolescence
  • youth
  • marketing
  • countermarketing
  • media campaigns
  • CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • ETS, environmental tobacco smoke
  • FCC, Federal Communications Commission
  • FYTS, Florida Youth Tobacco Survey
  • GRPs, gross rating points
  • LMTS, Legacy Media Tracking Surveys
  • MSA, Master Settlement Agreement
  • MSDH, Mississippi Department of Health
  • MTF, Monitoring the Future
  • SWAT, Students Working Against Tobacco
  • TDS, “Think. Don’t Smoke”
  • TPEP, Tobacco Prevention and Education Program

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  • * Confidence intervals are not clearly reported in these summaries.

  • Specific prevalence rates and confidence intervals were not reported.

  • The unusual reporting period for smoking in the past three weeks in the Minnesota study makes comparisons to national trends somewhat less relevant. However, to the extent that the prevalence of smoking in the past 21 days is a reasonable proxy for smoking in the past 30 days, this comparison will still be valid.