The independent military newspaper, Stars and Stripes, does not carry tobacco advertising, but installation papers that are commercially owned may have such advertising. VA does not have advertising in its newsletters.
Offsetting the tobacco industry’s mass-media influence through counteradvertising is critical for achieving a nonsmoking public norm, including the military or, indeed, any segment of society (CDC, 2007a, 2009a; IOM, 2007; NCI, 2008). Strategies to counter advertising by the tobacco industry include advertising bans and counteradvertising with the goal of preventing smoking initiation, promoting cessation, and changing social norms associated with tobacco use (CDC, 2007a). Strategies to change social norms include tailored, engaging messages for specific audiences. Mass-media campaigns involving television, radio, newspapers, billboards, posters, leaflets, and booklets that deglamorize and denormalize tobacco use have been used successfully as tobacco-control interventions alone and in combination with other program components, such as increased prices for tobacco products and community-based education programs (CDC, 2007a; IOM, 2007; NCI, 2008). Newer communication tools to disseminate counteradvertising information include Web-based advertising, text messaging to personal communication devices, and on-line Web logs (blogs) (CDC, 2007a). Media campaigns should have sufficient reach, frequency, and duration (at least 6 months and preferably 18–24 months) to influence behavior (CDC, 2007a).
Many of the mass-media counteradvertising campaigns have focused on preventing or reducing tobacco use by youth and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke (CDC, 2009a). The American Legacy Foundation’s “truth©” antitobacco campaign and the Phillip Morris Company’s “Think. Don’t Smoke” campaign are aimed at adolescents. The American Legacy Foundation’s campaign, particularly its negative advertising, was found to be effective in encouraging antitobacco sentiments in adolescents and in reducing tobacco-use initiation among youth (Farrelly et al., 2009), but the Phillip Morris campaign was not (Apollonio and Malone, 2009). NCI (2008) found that, in general, tobacco-industry youth smoking prevention campaigns have been ineffective and may even have resulted in increased smoking among some young people. CDC (2009a) found that the most effective mass-media education campaigns for decreasing the number of young people and adults who use tobacco, combined with other interventions, lasted at least 2 years. The committee notes that most people entering the military