The effect of the 2005 British Columbia (BC) smoking cessation mass media campaign on a panel (N = 1,341) of 20-30-year-old smokers' attitudes is evaluated. The 5-week campaign consisted of posters, television, and radio ads about the health benefits of cessation. Small impacts on the panel's attitudes toward the adverse impacts of smoking were found, with greater impacts found for those who had no plans to quit smoking at the initial interview. As smokers with no plans to quit increasingly recognized the adverse impacts of smoking, they also increasingly agreed that they use smoking as a coping mechanism. Smokers with plans to quit at the initial interview already were well aware of smoking's adverse impacts. Respondents recalling the campaign poster, which presented a healthy alternative to smoking, decreased their perception of smoking as a coping mechanism and devalued their attachment to smoking. Evidence was found that media ad recall mediates unobserved predictors of attitudes toward smoking.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of the 2005 British Columbia Ministry of Health Smoking Cessation Mass Media Campaign on short-term smoking behavior.
National cross-sectional data are used with a quasi-experimental approach to test the impact of the campaign.
Findings indicate that prevalence and average number of cigarettes smoked per day deviated upward from trend for the rest of Canada (P = .08; P = .01) but not for British Columbia. They also indicate that British Columbia smokers in lower risk groups reduced their average daily consumption of cigarettes over and above the 1999-2004 trend (-2.23; P = .10), whereas smokers in the rest of Canada did not, and that British Columbia smokers in high-risk groups did not increase their average daily consumption of cigarettes over and above the 1999-2004 trend, whereas smokers in the rest of Canada did (2.97; P = .01).
The overall poorer performance of high-risk groups is attributed to high exposure to cigarette smoking, which reduces a smoker's chances of successful cessation. In particular, high-risk groups are by definition more likely to be exposed to smoking by peers, but are also less likely to work in workplaces with smoking bans, which are shown to have a substantial impact on prevalence. Results suggest that for mass media campaigns to be more effective with high-risk groups, they need to be combined with other incentives, and that more prolonged interventions should be considered.
Swine flu (H1N1) reached pandemic proportions in 2009, yet ambivalence was met concerning intentions to be vaccinated. The present investigation determined predictors of perceived H1N1 contraction risk and vaccination intentions among Canadian adults (N = 1,027) responding to an online questionnaire. The relatively low rate of vaccination intent (30.12%, and 34.99% being unsure of their intent) was related to a sense of invulnerability regarding illness contraction and symptom severity. Most individuals were skeptical that H1N1 would be widespread, believing that less than 10% of the population would contract H1N1. Yet, they also indicated that their attitudes would change once a single person they knew contracted the illness. Also, worry regarding H1N1 was related to self-contraction risk and odds of individuals seeking vaccination. Moreover, vaccination intent was related to the perception that the threat was not particularly great, mistrust of the media to provide accurate information regarding H1N1, and whether individuals endorsed problem-focused versus avoidant coping strategies. Given the role media plays in public perceptions related to a health crisis, trust in this outlet and credibility regarding the threat are necessary for adherence to recommended measures to minimize health risk.
This study examined adolescents' attitudes of cosmetic surgery, as well as the relationships between these attitudes, body appreciation, body ideal internalization, and fashion blog reading. The sample comprised 110 (60 boys, 50 girls) late adolescents (mean age 16.9 years) from a Swedish high school. The results indicated that younger adolescents seem somewhat more accepting of cosmetic surgery. This was especially the case for boys' acceptance of social motives for obtaining cosmetic surgery (boys' M=2.3±1.55 vs. girls' M=1.7±0.89). Girls', and to a limited extent boys', internalization of the thin ideal was related to more favorable cosmetic surgery attitudes. Athletic ideal internalization and body appreciation were unrelated to these attitudes. Finally, girls who frequently read fashion blogs reported higher thin ideal internalization, and also demonstrated a slight tendency of more cosmetic surgery consideration.
A comparative study of adolescent reproductive behavior in the 1980s examined difference in pregnancy, birth, and abortion levels among teenagers in developed countries especially in the US, Canada, the UK, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Only 6 of 37 countries with total fertility rates 3.5 and per capita income US$2000/year, and at least 1 million people had adolescent birth rates higher than the US (Bulgaria, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Romania, Hungary, and Chile). The US had the highest abortion rate (42/1000) followed by Hungary (27/1000). Thus the US had the highest adolescent pregnancy rate (96/1000) as well as Hungary (96/1000). The 6 country analysis showed that reducing the level of sexual activity among teenagers is not necessarily needed to achieve lower pregnancy rates. For example, Sweden had the highest levels of sexual activity but its pregnancy rate were 33% as high as those of the US. The rates of sexual activity among teenagers in the Netherlands equaled those of the US, but its pregnancy rates were 14% as high as those of the US. All countries had earlier, more extensive, and better contraceptive use among sexually active teenagers than the US which accounted for their lower pregnancy rates. The more realistic acceptance of sexual activity among teenagers and provision of contraceptives in all the countries except the US differed from the societal ambivalence in the US. Thus ambivalence about sexuality and the appropriateness of contraceptive use results in lower contraceptive use and greater adolescent pregnancy rates. US adolescents constantly receive conflicting messages that sex is romantic, thrilling, and arousing but it is also immoral to have premarital sex. Thus adults need to be more candid about sexuality so they can clearly convey to adolescents their expectations for responsible behavior and to provide the information and services needed to make effective use of contraceptives when sexually active.
OBJECTIVES: We examined the extent to which adolescents in Norway have been exposed to tobacco marketing despite an existing ban, and whether exposure is related to their current smoking or expectations they will smoke in the future. METHODS: Questionnaires were administered to nationally representative systematic samples of Norwegian youths aged 13 to 15 years in 1990 (n = 4282) and 1995 (n = 4065). RESULTS: About half in each cohort reported exposure to marketing. Youths reporting exposure were significantly more likely to be current smokers and to expect to be smokers at 20 years of age, after control for important social influence predictors. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents' current smoking and future smoking expectations are linked to marketing exposure even in limited settings, suggesting the need for comprehensive controls to eliminate the function of marketing in promoting adolescent smoking.