Yo This is no lie, if you smoke, you die: A content analysis of anti-smoking posters created by adolescents

Smita C. Banerjee, Kathryn Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: Exposure to anti-smoking messages is strongly associated with lower smoking initiation by adolescents. However, few anti-smoking efforts have involved message generation by adolescents themselves. This article presents a content analysis of anti-smoking posters created by middle school students in two northeastern schools in the United States. Understanding how smoking prevention messages should be framed from the perspective of young teens will provide us with formative information about what kinds of smoking prevention messages teens believe are effective. Methods: 50 anti-smoking posters created by adolescents (11-14 years) were content analysed, with a focus around three broad areas: effects of smoking portrayed in posters, specific ways of message depiction in posters and use of slogans. Result: Results of content analysis reveal that appearance-related factors (44%) were most commonly used to convey harmful health effects of smoking, followed by messages about death and dying (30%), before-after effects of smoking (22%), other sickness-related effects of smoking (20%) and cancer (12%). Supplemental thematic analysis revealed that in a majority of posters pictures were exaggerated and were dominant part of the posters. Discussion: These results provide information about anti-smoking messages/themes perceived as efficacious by young adolescents and have implications for developing anti-smoking messages for adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)


  • Adolescents
  • Posters
  • Prevention
  • Smoking


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