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.

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


In August 2016, the balance of the grant was transferred to NORC at the University of Chicago.


Principal investigator
Sherry L. Emery, MBA, PhD


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

Related publications

See publications supported by this grant on this PubMed list.

Kim HS. Attracting Views and Going Viral: How Message Features and News-Sharing Channels Affect Health News Diffusion. J Commun. 2015 Jun 1;65(3):512-534. Epub 2015 May 14. [See abstract.]

Huang J, Kim Y, Vera L, Emery SL. Electronic Cigarettes Among Priority Populations: Role of Smoking Cessation and Tobacco Control Policies. Am J Prev Med. 2016 Feb;50(2):199-209. [See abstract.]

Rose SW, Emery SL, Ennett S, McNaughton Reyes HL, Scott JC, Ribisl KM. Public Support for Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act Point-of-Sale Provisions: Results of a National Study. Am J Public Health. 2015 Oct;105(10):e60-7. [See abstract.]

Jo CL, Kornfield R, Kim Y, Emery S, Ribisl KM. Price-related promotions for tobacco products on Twitter. Tob Control. 2015 Jun 30. pii: tobaccocontrol-2015-052260. [See abstract.]

Ayers JW, Althouse BM, Emery S. Changes in Internet searches associated with the "Tips from Former Smokers" campaign. Am J Prev Med. 2015 Jun;48(6):e27-9. [See abstract.]

Maloney EK, Cappella JN. Does Vaping in E-Cigarette Advertisements Affect Tobacco Smoking Urge, Intentions, and Perceptions in Daily, Intermittent, and Former Smokers? Health Commun. 2016;31(1):129-38. [See abstract.]

Cavazos-Rehg PA, Krauss MJ, Kim Y, Emery SL. Risk Factors Associated With Hookah Use. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Dec;17(12):1482-90. [See abstract.]

Kornfield R, Smith KC, Szczypka G, Vera L, Emery S. Earned media and public engagement with CDC's "Tips from Former Smokers" campaign: an analysis of online news and blog coverage. J Med Internet Res. 2015 Jan 20;17(1):e12. [See abstract.]

Emery SL, Szczypka G, Abril EP, Kim Y, Vera L. Are you Scared Yet?: Evaluating Fear Appeal Messages in Tweets about the Tips Campaign. J Commun. 2014 Apr;64:278-295. [See abstract.]

Pepper JK, Emery SL, Ribisl KM, Rini CM, Brewer NT. How risky is it to use e-cigarettes? Smokers' beliefs about their health risks from using novel and traditional tobacco products. J Behav Med. 2015 Apr;38(2):318-26. [See abstract.]

Pepper JK, Ribisl KM, Emery SL, Brewer NT. Reasons for starting and stopping electronic cigarette use. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Oct 3;11(10):10345-61. [See abstract.]

Jo CL, Williams RS, Ribisl KM. Tobacco products sold by Internet vendors following restrictions on flavors and light descriptors. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Mar;17(3):344-9. [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 Jul;23 Suppl 3:iii31-6. [See abstract.]

Huang J, Kornfield R, Szczypka G, Emery SL. A cross-sectional examination of marketing of electronic cigarettes on Twitter. Tob Control. 2014 Jul;23 Suppl 3:iii26-30.  [See abstract.]

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.]