Rural Print Media Portrayal of Secondhand Smoke and Smoke-Free Policy

Donald W. Helme, Mary Kay Rayens, Sarah E. Kercsmar, Sarah M. Adkins, Shelby J. Amundsen, Erin Lee, Carol A. Riker, Ellen J. Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to describe how the print media portrays secondhand smoke and smoke-free policy in rural communities. Baseline print media clips from an ongoing 5-year study of smoke-free policy development in 40 rural communities were analyzed. The authors hypothesized that community population size would be positively associated with media favorability toward smoke-free policy. Conversely, pounds of tobacco produced and adult smoking prevalence would be negatively associated with media favorability. There was a positive correlation between population size and percentage of articles favorable toward smoke-free policy. The authors did not find a correlation between adult smoking or tobacco produced and media favorability toward smoke-free policy, but we did find a positive relationship between tobacco produced and percentage of pro-tobacco articles and a negative relationship between adult smoking prevalence and percentage of articles about health/comfort. Implications for targeting pro-health media in rural communities as well as policy-based initiatives for tobacco control are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)848-856
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project described was supported, in part, 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 (Principal Investigator: Ellen J. Hahn).


  • cessation
  • health communication
  • mass media
  • rural health
  • social marketing
  • tobacco prevention and control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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