Understanding Adolescent Intentions to Smoke: An Examination of Relationships Among Social Influence, Prior Trial Behavior, and Antitobacco Campaign Advertising
Journal of Marketing
Telephone interviews were conducted with more than 900 adolescents aged 12 to 18 as part of a multimillion dollar, statewide, antitobacco advertising campaign. The interviews addressed two primary questions: (1) Do counter-advertising campaign attitudes directly affect antismoking beliefs and intent in a manner similar to those of conventional advertisements? and (2) Can advertising campaign attitudes have a stronger effect on beliefs and intent for adolescents with prior smoking behavior and for adolescents exposed to social influence (i.e., friends, siblings, or adult smoker in the home)? The authors' findings show that advertising campaign attitudes, prior trial behavior, and social influence all directly affect antismoking beliefs and that advertising campaign attitudes interact with prior trial behavior to strengthen antismoking beliefs. The results indicate that attitudes related to the campaign, prior trial behavior, and social influence directly influence intent, and advertising campaign attitudes interact with social influence and prior trial behavior to attenuate adolescent intent to smoke. In addition, the effect of advertising campaign attitudes in attenuating social influence and prior trial behavior effects on adolescent intent to smoke persists even when the authors account for strongly held beliefs about smoking. The authors discuss implications for countermarketing communications and the design and understanding of future antismoking campaigns.