The Relation Between Increased Billboard Cigarette Advertisements And Tobacco Use In School Children: A Regression Analysis

Introduction and Methodology

Tobacco is the second most advertised product in American billboards.  Cigarette advertisements are common in most American towns ranging from billboards, television adverts, online adverts, and street campaigns (Brandt, 2007). These adverts reach entirely everybody with little effort undertaken to prevent the exposure of such information to school going children.  Billboards have a wide impact on consumer based on their visibility and strategic location hence serving as a direct influence on school going children (Sutton and Robinson, 2004).


This research paper, therefore, examines the influence of billboard tobacco advertisements on tobacco use by school children using a regression model. The study is aimed to affirm the hypothesis that the higher the number of billboard cigarettes advertisements, the higher the number of school children using tobacco. Further, it examines the perception of school children on billboard cigarette advertisement affirming that school children perceive billboard cigarette advertisement influential towards the initiation and sustained use of tobacco.

This research paper aims at determining the impact of billboard cigarettes advertising on the rate of tobacco use among school going children.  It will, therefore, examine the impact of billboards as a factor that leads to increased cigarette use among school going children. The independent variable will be the number of billboards advertising cigarettes while the dependent variable will be the number of school children using tobacco. I will take a sample of schools in different towns  after which they will be further filtered based on age bracket.  All students within the age of 12 and 18 will be asked to volunteer to participate; they will be given a questionnaire to fill closed questions. Under the questionnaire, the students will answer questions which will be used to determine the influence of cigarette billboard advertisements on tobacco use.

The data collected will be regressed to determine whether there is a positive correlation between billboard cigarette advertising and tobacco use among school going children.  I will construct the reserach in urban settings with a high population of school children and a significant number of billboard advertising. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (1998) note that tobacco use among school going Americans has increased in the recent past despite a ban on sales to underage children.  While the government has always undertaken policies to curb tobacco use among school going children, the efforts have poorly materialised.   The society exposure to such vices as well as advertising of such substances infliuences smoking behaviours.  Therefore, this study examines the role of cigarette advertising in influencing the initiation of tobacco use among school going children.  School going children between the ages of adolescence (12 years) to 18 years will fill the questionnaire.

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School going children will be asked to voluntarily answer a yes or a no question on whether they use tobacco. All ethical guidelines will be followed to ensure the use of best practices and information confidentiality.  All forms of tobacco use will be considered ranging from smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco and other derivatives of tobacco.  we will include a sample size of 300 schools from 30 metropolitan regions.

Research Questions

This research will fulfil the  following objectives:

  • Billboard cigarette advertising as a factor influencing tobacco use among school going children.
  • The exposure of school going children to billboards cigarette advertisements.
  • The perceptions of school going children towards billboards cigarette advertisement.

The examination of the following research questions happened.

  • Does billboard cigarette advertising lead to increased use of tobacco among school going children?
  • Does billboard cigarette advertising lead to the sustained use of tobacco among school going children?

Three research questions will be used to ascertain the following hypothesis; Billboard Cigarette advertising has a direct correlation with the initiation and sustained use of tobacco among school going children. The research questions adopted for this study have been chosen based on tobacco use. Firstly¸ the first research question, “Does billboard cigarette advertising lead to increased use of tobacco among school going children” aims at gaining insight into the commencement of smoking among school going children. This research question answers questions on whether billboard cigarette advertising has a direct influence in persuading a school going child to start smoking.

The second research question, “Does billboard cigarette advertising lead to the sustained use of tobacco among school going children” will aim at understanding the sustained impacts of cigarette advertising among school children. In this case,  all the respondents are aware of tobacco and billboard advertising. This implies that billboard advertising is presumed to induce addiction towards tobacco usage among school going children.  Respondents will provide answers to the closed question in the questionnaire seeking to determine how strongly the respondents believe that cigarette advertising has influenced school children to use tobacco continually.

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Based on the existing literature, the hypothesis, “billboard Cigarette advertising has a direct correlation with the initiation and sustained use of tobacco among school going children” was considered on the basis that tobacco use is rampant among school going children in the United States. While at the same time, billboards are highly visual advertisement media addressing all demographics. Therefore, billboard cigarette advertising influences the initiation of tobacco use as well as the continued use of tobacco (Singh, 2016).

This study qualifies as a quantitative study since the data to be used will be collected in a structured approach (Bryman, 2017).  This will involve a final questionnaire that I will use to collect the responses for the various research questions.  The data for the research questions can easily be expressed in numeric or can be visualised statistically using tables, charts and figures.  The data collected is expected to prove the existence or nonexistence of a relationship between the variables after which the results can be generalised for a larger population. As such, with an established causal relationship, future results can be predicted from the results obtained in such a study.

Research Design Issues

A research design entails the basic approach under which a study answers the research question (Hopkins, 2008). I base the quantitative approach adopted in this research on the fact that human phenomena can be studied objectively to deliver reliable results. The study will begin with the identification of 30 metropolitan towns with a high number of primary and secondary schools. The inclusion criteria for the towns will be that each town must have a minimum of 10 schools, both primary and secondary.  In each town, i will collect data from the municipality offices on the number of billboards under cigarettes advertisement. This will reduce the labour costs of visual assessment which can be tedious and time-consuming.

The next step will be to collect the data on school going children using tobacco.  In this step, the inclusion criteria will be age limit whereby i will provide a questionnaire to all students meeting this requirement.  The questionnaire will address the following questions:

  1. Do you use tobacco or its derivatives, (yes/no)
  2. Does billboard cigarette advertising lead to increased use of tobacco among school going children (strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree nor disagree, agree, strongly agree)?
  3. Do billboards cigarette advertising lead to the sustained use of tobacco among school going children (strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree nor disagree, agree, strongly agree)?

The data will be collected and analysed for each metropolitan town.  i will express the data collected for smokers and nonsmokers as a percentage of the total school-going children surveyed in that age bracket.  The following format will be adopted:

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Metropolitan region Town 1 Town 2 Town 3
Number of cigarette billboards      
Percentage  of children using tobacco      

 

Next, the responses from the second and third question will be evaluated on a cumulative basis to determine the general perceptions of school going children on billboard cigarette advertising.  This data will be filled in the following table.

Survey question Strongly disagree disagree Neither agree nor disagree Agree Strongly agree
Does billboard  cigarette advertising  lead to increased use of tobacco  among school going children          
Does billboards cigarette advertising lead to  sustained use of tobacco among school going children          
Total          

 

a panel of lecturers from Texas University will unedrtake a  content validity of the questionnaire. All the questions in the questionnaire will be evaluated whether all aspects of the research have been captured. They will establish whether there are enough relevant questions and check for irrelevant questions too. The validity of the questionnaire will be established by undertaking a rerun of the questionnaire among the schools identified after one month of administering the questionnaire. The results will be compared to determine the face validity of the questionnaire in answering the research question (Montgomery, Peck and Vining, 2012).

A linear regression approach will be used to display the data obtained from the research questions examined in the questionnaire.  Based on this approach, several research design issues may arise. Firstly, the research questions and hypothesis need to be operationalized. Therefore, each question needs to be stated effectively in order to have a relationship with the hypothesis. In this case, the research questions address the various steps of tobacco use in relation to cigarette advertising.

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The research design adopted for this model aims at answering three research questions.  Most notably, the first research question is aimed at determining the percentage of children using tobacco in each town.  The issue arising in this question is that other factors beyond the billboard might have an effect on tobacco use among school going children. Generally¸ the research assumes that the use of billboards in cigarettes advertising is highly pronounced compared to other media.  When such an approach is undertaken, the impact of other forms of media may be underestimated. Still, it was considered the backbone of the research because billboards have a wide audience.

Owing to the ambiguity of determining the sole effect of billboard cigarettes advertisement, question two and three were included so as to give the perceptions of school going children towards billboards cigarette advertisement. These questions are intended to increase the validity of the hypothesis by affirming that billboards have great visibility and audience towards school going children. For the linear regression to be assumed effective, the independent and dependent variable must have a linear relationship.  Still, it is worth noting that outliers can easily affect the regression line thereby affecting forecasted values (Draper and Smith, 2014).

Generic Conclusions Arrived Using Regression

The generic conclusions arrived using this method are expected to uphold the causality that billboard cigarette advertising influences the use of tobacco among school going children (Currie et al., 2009).  In this case, under a regression model for the first question, a graphical result should indicate that the more the number of billboard cigarettes advertisements, the higher the number of school going children using tobacco.  Secondly, the second question will give the perceptions of school going children towards billboard cigarette advertisements.  This question should indicate that a higher majority of respondents strongly agree that billboard cigarette advertisements lead to increased tobacco use in schools.  The third question will confirm that most students believe that billboard cigarette advertisement leads to sustained tobacco use among school children.

This study is therefore backed on various generic decisions. Firstly, cigarettes advertisement has a direct correlation to tobacco use among adolescents (Currie et al., 2009). Secondly, tobacco marketing has a direct effect on consumption by adolescents in the United States.  Therefore, the study results should be consistent with similar studies by affirming that increased billboard cigarettes advertisement leads to initiation and sustained use of tobacco among school going children.

 

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References

Draper, N. R., & Smith, H. (2014). Applied regression analysis(Vol. 326). John Wiley & Sons.

Montgomery, D. C., Peck, E. A., & Vining, G. G. (2012). Introduction to linear regression analysis (Vol. 821). John Wiley & Sons.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1998). Tobacco use among high school students–United States, 1997. The Journal of School Health68(5), 202.

Singh, T. (2016). Tobacco use among middle and high school students—United States, 2011–2015. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report65.

Currie, C., Zanotti, C., Morgan, A., Currie, D., De Looze, M., Roberts, C., … & Barnekow, V. (2009). Social determinants of health and well-being among young people. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study: international report from the2010, 271.

Bryman, A. (2017). Quantitative and qualitative research: further reflections on their integration. In Mixing methods: Qualitative and quantitative research (pp. 57-78). Routledge.

Hopkins, W. G. (2008). Quantitative research design.

Sutton, C. D., & Robinson, R. G. (2004). The marketing of menthol cigarettes in the United States: populations, messages, and channels. Nicotine & Tobacco Research6(Suppl_1), S83-S91.

Brandt, A. M. (2007). The cigarette century: the rise, fall, and deadly persistence of the product that defined America. Basic Books (AZ).

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