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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Mass media interventions for preventing smoking in young people

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2017
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (92nd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (71st percentile)

Mentioned by

1 policy source
47 X users
2 Facebook pages


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522 Mendeley
Mass media interventions for preventing smoking in young people
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd001006.pub3
Pubmed ID

Kristin V Carson‐Chahhoud, Faisal Ameer, Kourosh Sayehmiri, Khin Hnin, Joseph EM van Agteren, Fatemeh Sayehmiri, Malcolm P Brinn, Adrian J Esterman, Anne B Chang, Brian J Smith


Mass media interventions can be used as a way of delivering preventive health messages. They have the potential to reach and modify the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of a large proportion of the community. To assess the effects of mass media interventions on preventing smoking in young people, and whether it can reduce smoking uptake among youth (under 25 years), improve smoking attitudes, intentions and knowledge, improve self-efficacy/self-esteem, and improve perceptions about smoking, including the choice to follow positive role models. We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group Specialized Register, with additional searches of MEDLINE and Embase in June 2016. This is an update of a review first published in 1998. Randomized trials, controlled trials without randomization and interrupted time-series studies that assessed the effect of mass media campaigns (defined as channels of communication such as television, radio, newspapers, social media, billboards, posters, leaflets or booklets intended to reach large numbers of people and which are not dependent on person-to-person contact) in influencing the smoking behaviour (either objective or self-reported) of young people under the age of 25 years. We define smoking behaviour as the presence or absence of tobacco smoking or other tobacco use, or both, and the frequency of tobacco use. Eligible comparators included education or no intervention. Two review authors independently extracted information relating to the characteristics and the content of media interventions, participants, outcomes, methods of the study and risks of bias. We combined studies using qualitative narrative synthesis. We assessed the risks of bias for each study using the Cochrane 'Risk of bias' tool, alongside additional domains to account for the nature of the intervention. We assessed the quality of evidence contributing to outcomes using GRADE. We identified eight eligible studies reporting information about mass media smoking campaigns, one of which is new for this update. Seven of the studies used a controlled trial design and one an interrupted time-series analysis. Risks of bias were high across all included studies and there was considerable heterogeneity in study design, intervention and population being assessed.Three studies (n = 17,385), one of which compared a mass media intervention to no intervention and two of which evaluated mass media interventions as adjuncts to school-based interventions, found that the mass media interventions reduced the smoking behaviour of young people. The remaining five studies (n = 72,740) did not detect a significant effect on smoking behaviour. These included three studies comparing a mass media intervention to no intervention, one study evaluating a mass media intervention as an adjunct to a school-based intervention, and one interrupted time-series study of a social media intervention. The three campaigns which found a significant effect described their theoretical basis, used formative research in designing the campaign messages, and used message broadcast of reasonable intensity over extensive periods of time. However, some of the campaigns which did not detect an effect also exhibited these characteristics. Effective campaigns tended to last longer (minimum 3 years) and were more intense (more contact time) for both school-based lessons (minimum eight lessons per grade) and media spots (minimum four weeks' duration across multiple media channels with between 167 and 350 TV and radio spots). Implementation of combined school-based components (e.g. school posters) and the use of repetitive media messages delivered by multiple channels (e.g. newspapers, radio, television) appeared to contribute to successful campaigns. Certainty about the effects of mass media campaigns on smoking behaviour in youth is very low, due to inconsistency between studies in both design and results, and due to methodological issues amongst the included studies. It would therefore be unwise to offer firm conclusions based on the evidence in this review. Methodologically rigorous studies investigating the effect of social media and novel forms of technology as part of tobacco prevention campaigns for youth are needed.

X Demographics

X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 522 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Unknown 519 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 71 14%
Researcher 54 10%
Student > Bachelor 49 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 41 8%
Student > Postgraduate 26 5%
Other 100 19%
Unknown 181 35%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 109 21%
Nursing and Health Professions 68 13%
Psychology 41 8%
Social Sciences 36 7%
Unspecified 7 1%
Other 51 10%
Unknown 210 40%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 32. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 October 2018.
All research outputs
of 26,329,145 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 13,211 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 336,900 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 253 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 26,329,145 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 95th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 13,211 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 34.9. This one has done well, scoring higher than 80% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 336,900 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 253 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 71% of its contemporaries.