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July 2005

State Tobacco Counteradvertising and Adolescents

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(7):685-687. doi:10.1001/archpedi.159.7.685-a

The study by Emery et al1 in this issue of ARCHIVES provides new insights about state-sponsored antitobacco media advertising (counteradvertising). In a carefully designed and comprehensive study, they generally found strong associations between population level exposure to state-sponsored tobacco counteradvertising and adolescent beliefs about smoking and current smoking status. These associations were found despite what were, in most instances, low levels of exposure to state-sponsored counteradvertising and much higher levels of exposure to tobacco industry–sponsored “antitobacco” ads that, not surprisingly, have been found to be ineffective.2 This study adds to a large body of literature on the critical role that counteradvertising plays in tobacco prevention,35 supporting the findings of many others, including the United States Community Preventive Services Task Force, that mass media counteradvertising campaigns are effective in preventing tobacco use initiation.3

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