Evidence for truth®: The young adult response to a youth-focused anti-smoking media campaign

Amanda Kalaydjian Richardson, Molly Green, Haijun Xiao, Natasha Sokol, Donna Vallone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background Previous studies have shown that exposure to truth ® and similar countermarketing campaigns is associated with an increase in anti-smoking attitudes and beliefs in those aged 1217 years and a decrease in youth smoking. However, it is unclear how such campaigns influence young adults aged 1824 years. Purpose To examine levels of awareness and the effect of the national truth campaign on smoking-related attitudes, beliefs, and intentions in young adults. Methods Data on respondents, aged 1824 years, from the Legacy Media Tracking Surveyseight cross-sectional nationally representative telephone surveys administered from 2000 to 2004were combined and analyzed in 2009. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the associations between confirmed awareness of the truth campaign and smoking-related attitudes, beliefs, and intentions. A second set of models was used to examine the association of attitudes and beliefs targeted by the campaign with smoking intentions. Results A majority of young adults showed confirmed awareness of the truth campaign. Awareness was associated with roughly half of the anti-smoking attitudes and beliefs, and it was associated marginally with the intention to quit among smokers (p=0.06). Several of the attitudes and beliefs targeted by the campaign were associated with the intention to not smoke (among nonsmokers) and to quit (among smokers). Conclusions Messages contained in youth-focused anti-smoking campaigns may promote attitudinal and behavioral change in young adults. Young adults are at risk for both initiation and establishment of smoking, while also being targeted specifically by the tobacco industry, so it is critical to consider this audience when developing and implementing anti-smoking interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-506
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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