A new study has recommended the use of advertising campaigns that portray the tobacco industry in a negative light and are targeted towards young adults. This, they say, will be a powerful intervention to decrease young adult smoking.
The study by UCSF researchers sheds light on the relationship between attitudes toward the tobacco industry and smoking behaviours of young adults aged 18 to 25 years.
To determine attitudes, the researchers asked respondents how strongly they agreed or disagreed with three statements: Taking a stand against smoking is important to me; I want to be involved with efforts to get rid of cigarette smoking; and I would like to see cigarette companies go out of business.
The researchers found that those who agreed with those statements and supported action against the tobacco industry were one-third as likely to be smokers as those who did not support action against the tobacco industry.
Among current smokers, those who had a negative attitude towards the tobacco industry were over four times more likely to plan to quit smoking than smokers who did not support action against the tobacco industry.
According to researchers, the results show a national impact of the "tobacco industry denormalization" approach, which educates the public about deceptive practices of the tobacco industry in order to influence individuals' decisions about smoking.
"Running anti-tobacco ads to expose the fact that the tobacco industry kills five million people worldwide annually turns out to be hugely successful in preventing and promoting cessation," said Stanton Glantz, PhD, a study co-author and professor of medicine and director of UCSF's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.
The study is reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.