Creating Effective Media Messaging for Rural Smoke-free Policy

Carol A. Riker, Karen M. Butler, Janelle M. Ricks, Rachael A. Record, Kathy Begley, Debra Gay Anderson, Ellen J. Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: Objectives were to (1) explore perceived effectiveness of existing smoke-free print advertisements in rural communities and (2) generate message content, characteristics, and media delivery channels that resonate with residents. Design and Sample: Qualitative methods design. Thirty-nine rural adults recruited by community partners. Measures: Content analysis of findings from individuals in four focus groups who participated in general discussion and reviewed eight print ads related to secondhand smoke (SHS) and smoke-free policy. Results: Six content themes were identified: smoking/SHS dangers, worker health, analogies, economic impact, rights, and nostalgia. Seven message characteristics were recognized: short/to the point, large enough to read, graphic images, poignant stories, statistics/charts/graphs, message sender, and messages targeting different groups. Four media delivery channels were considered most effective: local media, technology, billboard messages, and print materials. Conclusions: Seeking input from key informants is essential to reaching rural residents. Use of analogies in media messaging is a distinct contribution to the literature on effective smoke-free campaigns. Other findings support previous studies of effective messaging and delivery channels. Further research is needed to examine effectiveness of themes related to message content in smoke-free ads and delivery strategies. Effective media messaging can lead to policy change in rural communities to reduce exposure to SHS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-624
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • Media messaging
  • Rural residents
  • Smoke-free policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Creating Effective Media Messaging for Rural Smoke-free Policy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this