Rural print media and a tailored advocacy intervention for smoke-free policy

Ellen J. Hahn, Jeslyn K. Kolpek, Erin Lee, Rachael Record, Amanda T. Wiggins, Karen M. Butler, Mary Kay Rayens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose. To examine frequency, prominence, and content of local print media after a 4-year policy advocacy intervention. Design. This was a controlled community-based trial. Setting. The study took place in 39 rural counties (22 intervention, 17 comparison). Subjects. Subjects consisted of 2525 newspaper articles monitored over 18 quarters (July 2007 to December 2011). Intervention. One key element of the tailored policy advocacy intervention delivered by community advisors was building demand for smoke-free policy via media advocacy strategies. Measures. Media clips were coded to assess number of articles; percent of tobacco-related articles on the front page or bold heading section; percent of pro-health articles; and percent of articles with secondhand smoke (SHS)-relevant topics or themes. Analysis. Coded data were entered into Atlas.ti software. Article frequencies and attributes were compared between groups and over time using negative binomial regression for longitudinal data, with county-level demographics as covariates. Results. In the last 3 years, there were approximately twice as many articles in intervention than in comparison counties. Media clips from newspapers in intervention counties were between 1.4 and 2 times more likely to have front page placement and percent of relevant topic or theme than were those in comparison counties. There was no difference in rate of pro-health articles by group. Conclusion. The policy advocacy intervention to promote smoke-free policy increased media attention to SHS and may have increased public awareness of issues related to smoke-free policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by award number R01HL086450 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health. There are no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Publisher Copyright:
© SAGE Publications.


  • Health Disparities
  • Health focus: smoking control
  • Media
  • Outcome measure: behavioral
  • Prevention Research. Manuscript format: research
  • Public Policy
  • Research purpose: intervention testing
  • Rural Health
  • Setting: local community
  • Study design: randomized trial
  • Target population age: adults
  • Target population circumstances: geographic location
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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