Tobacco Control in a Rapidly Changing Media Environment


This project is part of the Health Media Collaboratory.

This research focuses on the role of mass media in state and community tobacco control efforts. The overarching goals of the project are to:

  • Develop an understanding of the amount and variety of tobacco-related information that both smokers and nonsmokers encounter across media platforms
  • Analyze the relationships between that information and attitudes, beliefs and smoking behavior.

This research is critically important for state and community tobacco control efforts. The mass media landscape has fundamentally transformed over the past five years, to include platforms such as increasingly sophisticated Internet marketing and advertising strategies, social networking (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), mobile messaging, and the growing fragmentation of traditional broadcast media. As a result, the amount and variety of pro- and anti-tobacco information available across media platforms has proliferated. Yet, there is very little detailed public information available about which new media are commonly used, or how much they are used across demographic groups. In addition, little is known about the extent to which smokers and nonsmokers are exposed to pro- and anti-tobacco information, or how much tobacco-related information seeking and exchange is conducted across media platforms.

This research includes the first large-scale survey on new media consumption, exposure to smoking-related advertising and information seeking and exchange related to smoking and quitting across traditional and new media platforms. By combining existing data on exposure to smoking-related messages on TV, with new data collected as part of the proposed research, this project will provide the first comprehensive description of the amount and variety of pro- and anti-tobacco information that smokers and non-smokers encounter passively, and which they actively seek out and exchange. With these data, we will be able to explore whether, and the extent to which, smoking-related information delivered across various media platforms is associated with attitudes and smoking behaviors. Further, these data will enable us to examine whether and how the various types tobacco-related information and media interact with each other.

In a supplemental study, we are evaluating the CDC's Tips from Former Smokers Campaign of 2013. Learn more.

Affiliated Center/Program

Principal investigator
Funding Agency

National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (Grant No. U01 CA154254), one of eight awardees of the NCI's State and Community Tobacco Control Network


Joseph N. Cappella, PhD
Frank J. Chaloupka, PhD
Jidong Huang, PhD
Yoonsang Kim, MPH, PhD
Kurt M. Ribisl, PhD

Start date
End date
Total award
For more information, contact
Sherry Emery, MBA, PhD

Related publications

Emery SL, Vera L, Huang J, Szczypka G. Wanna know about vaping? Patterns of message exposure, seeking and sharing information about e-cigarettes across media platforms. Tob Control. 2014;23:iii17–iii25. [See abstract.]

Huang J, Kornfield R, Szczypka G, Emery SL.  A cross-sectional examination of marketing of electronic cigarettes on Twitter. Tob Control. 2014;23:iii26–iii30. [See abstract.]

Pepper JK, Emery SL, Ribisl KM, Southwell BG, Brewer NT. Effects of advertisements on smokers’ interest in trying e-cigarettes: the roles of product comparison and visual cues. Tob Control. 2014;23:iii31–iii36. [See abstract.]

Rose SW, Barker DC, D'Angelo H, Khan T, Huang J, Chaloupka FJ, Ribisl KM. The availability of electronic cigarettes in US retail outlets, 2012: results of two national studies Tob Control. 2014;23:iii10–iii16. [See abstract.]

Emery S, Aly EH, Vera L, Alexander RL Jr. Tobacco control in a changing media landscape: how tobacco control programs use the Internet. Am J Prev Med. 2014 Mar;46(3):293-6. [See abstract.]

Ayers JW, Althouse BM, Ribisl KM, Emery S. Digital detection for tobacco control: online reactions to the United States' 2009 cigarette excise tax increase. Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 May;16(5):576-83. [See abstract.]

Kim Y, Choi YK, Emery S. Logistic regression with multiple random effects: a simulation study of estimation methods and statistical packages. Am Stat. 2013 Aug 1;67(3). [See abstract.]

Terry-McElrath YM, Emery S, Wakefield MA, O'Malley PM, Szczypka G, Johnston LD. Effects of tobacco-related media campaigns on smoking among 20-30-year-old adults: longitudinal data from the USA. Tob Control. 2013 Jan;22(1):38-45. [See abstract.]

Huang J, Zheng R, Emery S. Assessing the impact of the national smoking ban in indoor public places in China: evidence from quit smoking related online searches. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(6):e65577. [See abstract.]

Kim HS, Lee S, Cappella JN, Vera L, Emery S. Content characteristics driving the diffusion of antismoking messages: implications for cancer prevention in the emerging public communication environment. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2013;2013(47):182-187. [See abstract.]

Emery S, Kim Y, Choi YK, Szczypka G, Wakefield M, Chaloupka FJ. The effects of smoking-related television advertising on smoking and intentions to quit among adults in the United States: 1999–2007. Am J Public Health. 2012 Apr;102(4):751-7. [See abstract.]

Pierce JP, White VM, Emery SL. What public health strategies are needed to reduce smoking initiation? Tob Control. 2012 Mar;21(2):258-64. [See abstract.]