An analysis of messages about tobacco in military installation newspapers

C. Keith Haddock, L. Carrie Parker, Jennifer E. Taylor, Walker S.C. Poston, Harry Lando, G. Wayne Talcott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives. We sought to gauge the relative attention that tobacco control receives in military newspapers by comparing coverage of tobacco use with that of other health topics of importance to the military. Methods. We examined tobacco-related articles and industry advertisements in 793 newspapers published during 1 year at 16 representative military installations (4 Air Force, 6 Army, 2 Marine, 4 Navy). Newspaper content was coded with a standardized coding manual developed through previous research. Results. Tobacco use received the fewest instances of coverage and the least print space in military installation newspapers of all the health topics examined. The primary "message frame" used in tobacco control articles was that smokers are putting themselves at health risk, a theme that has not been found to have a strong effect on smokers. Nearly 10% of the newspapers contained tobacco advertisements. Conclusions. Tobacco control messages are underrepresented in military installation newspapers compared with other health issues. Furthermore, military newspapers send mixed messages to military personnel by providing advertisements for tobacco while also claiming that tobacco use is harmful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1458-1463
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005


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