A Contest to Create Media Messages Aimed at Recruiting Adolescents for Stop Smoking Programs


  • This study was sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Research Center, the Rochester School District, American Cancer Society, and Olmsted County Public Health Services. This project was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and Human Development (RO1 HD37083), the National Cancer Institute (RO1 CA8023), and an unrestricted Educational Grant from McNeil Pharmaceuticals. Copies of winning contest entries are available from the first author.


ABSTRACT: This project engaged adolescents in a contest to create advertising messages aimed at recruiting teens for stop smoking programs. Middle school students were invited to design a media message for television, radio, Web, or print (newspaper or billboard). Of 4,289 students in eight middle schools of Rochester, Minn., 265 (6.2%) developed 172 stop smoking messages. The quality of their work confirmed that teens can design media messages to encourage their smoking adolescent peers to enroll in a program to stop smoking.