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Background: Adolescents who live in tobacco producing regions may not respond favourably to anti-industry ads.
Objective: To examine whether state level involvement in tobacco production appears to limit the effectiveness of anti-industry ads to prevent tobacco use among adolescents in the USA.
Design: Time trend analyses were done using repeated cross sectional data from six waves of the Legacy Media Tracking Survey, which were collected between 1999 and 2003.
Setting and participants: 28 307 adolescents, ages 12–17 years, were classified as living in: tobacco producing states (TPS) (n = 1929); non-tobacco producing states (non-TPS) with low tobacco control funding comparable to TPS (n = 5323); non-TPS with relatively high funding (n = 15 076); and non-TPS with established anti-industry ad campaigns (n = 5979).
Main outcome measures: Reactions to anti-industry ads; strength of anti-industry attitudes/beliefs; changes in anti-industry attitudes/beliefs over time.
Results: Ad reactions did not differ by state type. Multivariate adjusted time trend analyses indicated significant, comparable increases in anti-industry attitudes/beliefs since the onset of the truth® campaign, in both TPS and non-TPS. Mediation analyses indicated that these increases were due, in part, to campaign exposure.
Conclusions: Adolescents who live in tobacco producing regions appear to be as responsive to anti-industry ads as their counterparts in non-tobacco producing regions. This study provides further evidence for the effectiveness of such ads.