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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1517; doi:10.3390/ijerph14121517

The Effect of Branding to Promote Healthy Behavior: Reducing Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults

Truth Initiative Schroeder Institute, 900 G Street NW, Fourth Floor, Washington, DC 20001, USA
Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
College of Global Public Health, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 25 November 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [322 KB, uploaded 7 December 2017]


Policy interventions such as public health mass media campaigns disseminate messages in order to improve health-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors at the population level. Only more recently have campaigns that promote health-related behaviors adopted branding, a well-established marketing strategy, to influence how consumers think and feel about a message. This study examines whether positive brand equity for the national truth® campaign is associated with lower likelihood of cigarette use over time using the nationally representative Truth Longitudinal Cohort of youth and young adults, aged 15–21. Logistic regression models were used to examine the relationship between brand equity and the likelihood of reporting past 30-day smoking over a 12-month period. Respondents who reported positive brand equity were significantly less likely to report past 30-day smoking 12 months later (OR = 0.66, p < 0.05), controlling for covariates known to influence tobacco use behavior. Findings also translate the effect size difference to a population estimate of more than 300,000 youth and young adults having been prevented from current smoking over the course of a year. Building brand equity is a strategic process for health promotion campaigns, not only to improve message recall and salience but also to influence behavioral outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: brand equity; health promotion campaign; tobacco; health behavior; branding; smoking brand equity; health promotion campaign; tobacco; health behavior; branding; smoking
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Vallone, D.; Greenberg, M.; Xiao, H.; Bennett, M.; Cantrell, J.; Rath, J.; Hair, E. The Effect of Branding to Promote Healthy Behavior: Reducing Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1517.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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