Youth responses to anti-smoking advertisements from tobacco-control agencies, tobacco companies, and pharmaceutical companies

  • Wakefield M
  • Balch G
  • Ruel E
 et al. 
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Abstract

Emotional reactions to anti-smoking advertising (e.g., fear, sadness, anger) may play an important role in promoting smoking-related attitudinal and behavioral change. Overall, 278 youth completed response ratings of 16 different elements of 50 anti-smoking ads made by tobacco-control agencies, tobacco companies, and pharmaceutical companies. Compared with tobacco-control ads, tobacco-company ads were more likely to elicit positive emotions and less likely to elicit negative emotions and to be of interest to youth. Compared with tobacco-control ads, pharmaceutical company ads were less likely to elicit negative emotional responses or cognitively engage youth and more likely to elicit positive emotions. These findings suggest that youth may be unlikely to respond to tobacco-company advertising in ways that may lead to a lower likelihood of smoking.

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Authors

  • Brian FlayBoise State University

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  • Melanie Wakefield

  • George I. Balch

  • Erin Ruel

  • Yvonne Terry-Mcelrath

  • Glen Szczypka

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