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J Am Coll Health. 2016;64(1):48-60. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2015.1074238.

The influence of celebrity exemplars on college students' smoking.

Author information

1
a Survey & Health Policy Research Center, Dongguk University , Seoul , South Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study examined the effect of celebrity smoking exemplars in health news on college students' perceptions of smoking-related health risks and smoking intentions.

PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS:

The data were collected using a Web-based survey of 219 undergraduate students at a large midwestern university in March 2011. Separate analyses of covariance were conducted.

RESULTS:

The influence of negative exemplars of celebrity smoking on perceptions of smoking-related health risks and smoking intentions varied according to smoking status. Ever-smokers who read smoking news with negative exemplars of celebrity smoking were more likely than ever-smokers who read the same news absent any exemplar to report higher levels of perceptions of smoking-related health risks and lower levels of smoking intentions. However, these patterns were not found in never-smokers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Exemplification theory enhanced by the celebrity element may be effectively applied as a strategy to change health behavior in college students.

KEYWORDS:

Antismoking messaging; celebrity; college student; exemplar; exemplification theory; smoking

PMID:
26495934
DOI:
10.1080/07448481.2015.1074238
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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