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Use of Media in Tobacco Control Programs

  • David M. Burns
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to Dr. Burns, UCSD Medical Center, 225 West Dickinson Street, San Diego, CA 92103.
    Affiliations
    From the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, California
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      Media messages have the potential to change public health. Changes in media have been associated with major changes in smoking behavior, but only when the rest of the social structure actively changed the environment for the smoker. These changes act synergistically with media messages, and cessation or behavior change occurs. Only when we put media into the larger construct of the society within which we live, and when that society is receptive to media messages, can one expect to see an effect. It is perhaps not a specific attitude change that is so critical, but rather the presence of those messages which can grow in the smoker’s environment and eventually become strong enough to allow that smoker to quit for the long term.
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