Mass Media Strategies
The mass media reaches thousands of people at one time and can have substantial influence on our lives. Just as the media are used to affect our purchasing behaviors, they can also be utilized to foster healthy lifestyles. In recent years, there has been an increase in mass media campaigns which are directed at smoking behaviors, but little is known about the effectiveness of these programs, particularly in the long term. Some messages are aired as short public service announcements; others have been incorporated into longer exposures or feature segments on the hazards of smoking and methods of quitting. In general, however, the media programs have varied in format, time, frequency, focus, and content. Research on using media intervention is necessary to test the most effective approaches and how best to reach different target audiences. More than 5 million people are being exposed to smoking control messages through 4 mass media research projects in the STCP. buy asthma inhalers
Special Target Populations
The STCP is also testing intervention research approaches targeted to those groups who are at the highest risk for developing tobacco-related cancers and those in whom the greatest prevention and cessation gains can be expected.
Black Americans have the highest overall cancer incidence rates and highest age-adjusted mortality rates of any US population. Of particular concern is the excess lung cancer incidence for black males. Black males are 50% more likely than white males to develop lung cancer, and they experience a 45% excess lung cancer death rate compared with white males. Black men are more likely to smoke and are more likely to use cigarettes with higher tar and nicotine. The prevalence of smoking among black women is about the same as among white women.
To date, there has been little research on the psychosocial context of smoking among blacks and on the development of prevention and cessation programs that are aimed at black populations. However, because black smokers are less likely to smoke heavily and may be more interested in giving up their tobacco habits than white smokers, there may be special opportunities for smoking cessation efforts. Over 200,000 black smokers are being targeted through 9 intervention research studies. Intervention strategies include the use of black physicians in delivering smoking cessation strategies to their patients, self-help approaches, and community-based smoking prevention and cessation campaigns.