Effects of the truth FinishIt brand on tobacco outcomes

W. Douglas Evans, Jessica M. Rath, Elizabeth C. Hair, Jeremy Williams Snider, Lindsay Pitzer, Marisa Greenberg, Haijun Xiao, Jennifer Cantrell, Donna Vallone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since 2000, the truth campaign has grown as a social marketing brand. Back then, truth employed branding to compete directly with the tobacco industry. In 2014, the launch of truth FinishIt reflected changes in the brand's strategy, the tobacco control environment, and youth/young adult behavior. Building on a previous validation study, the current study examined brand equity in truth FinishIt, as measured by validated multi-dimensional scales, and tobacco related attitudes, beliefs, and behavior based on two waves of the Truth Longitudinal Cohort data from 2015 and 2016. A fixed effects logistic regression was used to estimate the change in brand equity between panel survey waves 3 and 4 on past 30-day smoking among ever and current smokers. Additional models determined the effects of brand equity predicting tobacco attitudes/use at follow up among the full sample. All analyses controlled for demographic factors. A one-point increase in the brand equity scale between the two waves was associated with a 66% greater chance of not smoking among ever smokers (OR 1.66, CI 1.11–2.48, p < 0.05) and an 80% greater chance of not smoking among current smokers (OR 1.80, CI 1.05–3.10, p < 0.05). Higher overall truth brand equity at wave 3 predicted less smoking at wave 4 and more positive anti-tobacco attitudes. Being male, younger, and non-white predicted some of the tobacco related attitudes. Future research should examine long-term effects of brand equity on tobacco use and how tobacco control can optimize the use of branding in campaigns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Branding
  • Prevention
  • Smoking
  • Social marketing
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Informatics


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