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Am J Public Health. 1995 Dec;85(12):1650-3.

Tobacco information in two grade school newsweeklies: a content analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0124, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study compared tobacco-related articles from two elementary school publications, Weekly Reader and Scholastic News, published in 1989 through 1994.

METHODS:

Articles for grades 4 through 6 were evaluated, and the publications were compared with each other. Also, issues of Weekly Reader published after acquisition by K-III, which is owned by the firm that formerly owned RJR Tobacco, were compared with the earlier ones.

RESULTS:

Weekly Reader was less likely than Scholastic News to mention short-term consequences of smoking (32% vs 64%) or to give a clear "no-use" message (35% vs 79%). Weekly Reader was more likely to give the tobacco industry position (68% vs 32%). Post-K-III issues of Weekly Reader were less likely to provide a clear no-use message than earlier ones (62% vs 24%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Health professionals need to monitor the health information carried in these publications, which reach between 1 and 2 million students per grade level each week. Although neither publication had perfect tobacco coverage, Scholastic News was significantly better than Weekly Reader.

PMID:
7503339
PMCID:
PMC1615742
DOI:
10.2105/ajph.85.12.1650
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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