This article examines the relationship between media literacy and smoking rates among adolescents. Since exposure to smoking-related advertising is linked to higher rates of adolescent smoking, increasing media literacy among this demographic may have an impact on smoking rates.
The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey of 1,211 high school students that measured whether students smoked and student responses to 18 measures of media literacy.
- Respondents with higher levels of media literacy were less likely to smoke. Thirteen of 18 media literacy measures were significantly associated with a lowered risk of susceptibility to smoking.
- One measure of media literacy was associated with higher risk of smoking among all respondents but lower susceptibility to smoking among nonsmokers.
The findings of this study suggest that increasing adolescent media literacy may have an impact on smoking rates among adolescents.