resulting in 300,000 fewer smokers in the United States. A later study found an even more substantial effect and documented a particularly strong effect in African American and Hispanic youth (Farrelly et al., 2009).
Hard-hitting campaigns should expect to be sued, said Healton. The truth® campaign was in litigation for more than 5 years at a cost of more than $17 million, and won unanimously in the Delaware Supreme Court.
The same kind of campaign directed at healthy eating could have similar effects, Healton said. She listed several essential elements of such a campaign:
• Effective media campaigns need to be based on scientific evidence.
• The target audience needs to be narrowly defined.
• Campaigns need to conduct formative research with the target audience and pretest messages.
• Campaigns should consider using new media channels, including online, mobile, and gaming media.
Efforts to prevent smoking have obvious differences from efforts to prevent obesity; most obviously, people need to eat but do not need to smoke. Nevertheless, the antitobacco movement offers important lessons for obesity prevention, Healton concluded.
“Right now the tactics that are being utilized in relation to the communication between us, as a nation, and big food … have been constrained and polite…. But there are other directions that theoretically they could go.” —Cheryl Healton
Summary of presentation by Samantha Graff
Americans have long taken for granted that the government can regulate commercial activity to protect children’s welfare, individual privacy, principles of fair play, food and product safety, public health, and other important elements of common well-being. Recently, however, industry advocates have successfully advanced a novel interpretation of the First Amendment in the courts against government policies addressing the pervasive marketing of products that lead to lifelong illness and early death. This troubling trend in constitutional law has occurred during the same