The role of tobacco-specific media exposure, knowledge, and smoking status on selected attitudes toward tobacco control

Kelly D. Blake, K. Viswanath, Robert J. Blendon, Donna Vallone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: In August 2007, the President's Cancer Panel urged the leadership of the nation to "summon the political will to address the public health crisis caused by tobacco use" (President's Cancer Panel, N, 2007, Promoting healthy lifestyles: Policy, program, and personal recommendations for reducing cancer risk. While some research has examined predictors of public support for tobacco control measures, little research has examined modifiable factors that may influence public attitudes toward tobacco control. Methods: We used the American Legacy Foundation's 2003 American Smoking and Health Survey 2 to examine the contribution of smoking status, knowledge of the negative effects of tobacco, and tobacco-specific media exposure (antitobacco messages, news coverage of tobacco issues, and protobacco advertising) on U.S. adults' attitudes toward tobacco control. In addition, we assessed whether smoking status moderates the relationship between tobacco-specific media exposure and policy attitudes. Weighted multivariable logistic regression models were employed. Results: Results suggest that knowledge of the negative effects of tobacco and smoking status are associated with attitudes toward tobacco control and that exposure to tobacco-specific information in the media plays a role only in some instances. We found no evidence of effect modification by smoking status on the impact of exposure to tobacco-specific media on attitudes toward tobacco control. Discussion: Understanding the impact of readily modifiable factors that shape policy attitudes is essential if we are to target outreach and education in a way that is likely to sway public support for tobacco control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberntp184
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalNicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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