are in their late teens, therefore, antitobacco messages should be directed at those young adults, particularly young men, who have the highest rates of tobacco use.
There is strong evidence that public-education campaigns via broadcast and print media also increase tobacco cessation among both adults and youth (CDC, 2009a). Mass-media campaigns, when combined with such other interventions as the distribution of self-help materials, increased tobacco cessation by about 2 additional quitters per 100 people. Tobacco consumption was reduced by about 13%, and tobacco-use prevalence was reduced by about 3 people per 100 tobacco users (CDC, 2009a). Antitobacco messages that included information about accessing telephone quitlines significantly increased the number of people who called them. The evidence of the effectiveness of mass-media education cessation series (that is, broadcast instructional segments designed to recruit, inform, and motivate tobacco users to try quitting and to succeed) and for cessation contests is still insufficient (CDC, 2009a).
The mass media, particularly the news media, have been underused by tobacco-control advocates; however, the use of counteradvertising is effective in reducing smoking among targeted adult and youth populations (CDC, 2007a; IOM, 2007; NCI, 2008). Wakefield et al. (2008) found that antitobacco mass-media campaigns were effective in reducing tobacco use if broadcast at regular intervals. Strong negative messages about the health risks posed by tobacco use are more effective than more neutral or humorous messages or negative messages about the tobacco industry (NCI, 2008). Although the evaluation of mass-media programs comes from heterogeneous studies of varied methodologic quality, meta-analyses demonstrate that mass-media counteradvertising campaigns can be effective in reducing smoking consumption and prevalence (Bala et al., 2008).
DoD has a strong mass-media presence both in recruiting and in promoting healthy lifestyles among its military personnel. Such promotional activities can be adapted to promote antitobacco messages. VA can access mass-media outlets—such as newsletters, motivational materials for waiting rooms, and Web sites—to encourage veterans to quit tobacco.
DoD has initiated a militarywide antitobacco campaign with the slogan “Quit Tobacco. Make Everyone Proud” that targets military personnel 18–25 years old and includes an interactive Web site.