Media literacy promising for anti-smoking education

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, January 16, 2014

Teaching teens to see through pro-tobacco messages in the media may be better at preventing youth smoking than just saying no, according to new research.

More kids who began the study at least open to the possibility of starting to smoke changed their minds after a media literacy course, compared to kids in a traditional anti-smoking class, researchers found.

"Standard school-based smoking-prevention programs are just not as successful as we would like," Dr. Brian Primack said.

Primack, the study's lead author and director of the Program for Research on Media and Health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said clean air laws and large anti-smoking campaigns have led to an overall drop in smoking in the U.S.

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