ANCHOR LEAD: THE CIGARETTE SMOKING INTERVENTION PROGRAM NAMED ‘truth’ TARGETS COMMON ATTITUDES AMONG YOUTH, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
How do you get an effective health promotion message to teenagers? The ‘truth’ campaign, which specifically harnesses common youth attitudes such as rebellion and confrontation of authority, seems to have found an answer. David Holtgrave, director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Global Tobacco Control and author of a study assessing the program’s impact, comments.
HOLTGRAVE: They found that youth were very interested in messages that sort of challenged the tobacco industry and some of the messages that were coming out of the tobacco industry. So much of the ‘truth’ campaign is really focused on video and pictures of young people raising challenging notions. One of the earliest videos was young people putting out about 1200 body bags to represent death tolls related to tobacco-related mortality. And they found that this was really a very engaging way to get youth interested in the messages that they had. :28
Holtgrave says the truth program has convinced tens of thousands of teenagers not to start smoking. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.