Purpose: This study examined the awareness and impact of antitobacco media messages among rural, suburban, and urban youth. Method: Self-administered questionnaires were received from 1,622, 1,059, and 1,177 middle school (sixth, seventh, and eighth grade) students in rural, suburban, and urban locations, respectively. Logistic regression compared media awareness and impact among the groups, controlling for grade, gender, race, and smoking behavior. Results: Compared to rural youth, suburban youth were more likely to recall media messages about the dangerous health effects of tobacco use (odds ratio [OR] = 1.94) and have their personal choice to use tobacco affected by the messages (OR = 1.85). Suburban and urban youth more often recalled antitobacco messages (OR = 2.00 and 2.15), reported that the messages made them think about the dangers of tobacco use (OR = 2.02 and 1.47), believed that these ads prevent youth from initiating tobacco use (OR = 3.21 and 1.46) and stop youth from using tobacco (OR = 2.25 and 1.47), and recalled seeing specific campaign television ads (OR = 3.72 and 3.57). Urban youth were more likely to recall specific campaign messages on the radio (OR = 1.58). Neither suburban nor urban youth differed from the rural youth on whether the campaign-specific radio and television ads made them think about not using tobacco. Conclusions: The results support the need for targeting antitobacco media announcements to youth, based on their residence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health