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Evaluation of the FDA’s Rural Smokeless Tobacco Education Campaign (RuSTEC)

Principal Investigator: Matthew Farrelly and Tesfa Alexander

Funding Mechanism: Research Contract

ID number: HHSF223201310001B

Award Date: 6/13/2013

Institution: RTI International


In support of FDA’s efforts to inform the public on tobacco-related health issues, the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) is developing a public education campaign to prevent and reduce smokeless tobacco use among rural male youth.  The goal of this study is to evaluate FDA’s “The Real Cost” smokeless tobacco prevention campaign. The evaluation will be a longitudinal study with 1,969 rural male youth ages 11-16 in 30 geographic areas. Baseline data will also be collected from 1,969 adult guardians of these participants (i.e., a total of 3,938 participants).  Four rounds of data collection will be conducted over two years consisting of an in-person baseline questionnaire before campaign launch, followed by three online follow-up surveys (with youth participants only) at eight-month intervals.  Study aims are: (1) to gauge campaign awareness; and (2) to examine the statistical relationships between campaign exposure and changes in outcome variables of interest, including changes in targeted attitudes and beliefs and intentions to use smokeless tobacco.  Study results will be used to improve the current campaign and inform the development of future youth-oriented tobacco prevention campaigns.