Prevalence And Correlates Of Us Adult Opinions On Restricting Exposure Of Children To Smoking In Movies: The 2020 Health Information National Trends Survey

Esther Oghenetega, University of South Wales
Victor Kekere, Interfaith Medical Center
Uaiye Enosolease, University of Benin
Victor Eche, University of Port Harcourt
Gloria Reng, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University
Oluwaseun Sonola, University of Ghana
Evaristus Ezema, University of Lynchburg
Rasheedat Busari, University of Ilorin
Oluwabukola Adegbite, Texas A&M University
Chioma Muoghalu, Duke University School of Medicine
Joseph Ikekwere, University of Illinois College of Medicine
Innocent Emenuga, Madonna University
Muhammed Jawla, LSU Health Sciences Center - New Orleans
Henry Onyeaka, Harvard Medical School


INTRODUCTION Legislative policies aimed at curbing early exposure to smoking among youth are a crucial public health strategy. Yet little is known about US adults’ public opinion on restricting exposure of children to movies depicting smoking. This study sought to characterize US adults’ levels of support to restrict the exposure of children to smoking in movies and explore associations with sociodemographic characteristics. METHODS We used cross-sectional data from the 2020 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS, n=3750) of adults in the United States to estimate the prevalence of opinions toward restricting the exposure of children to smoking in movies and examine correlates of support using weighted logistic regression. RESULTS In all, 48.2% of adults endorsed a supportive opinion. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, the odds of endorsing a supportive opinion were higher among Black/African American adults (OR=1.61; 95% CI: 1.04–2.49, p=0.033), and Hispanics (OR=1.78; 95% CI: 1.17–2.72, p=0.008) when compared to Whites. Similarly, compared to those aged 18–34 years, the odds of endorsing a supportive opinion were also greater among those aged 50–64 years (OR=2.15; 95% CI: 1.43–3.24, p<0.001) or aged ≥65 years (OR=3.83; 95% CI: 2.31–6.36, p<0.001). Higher odds for support were observed among those exposed to federal court-ordered anti-smoking tobacco messages (OR=1.37; 95% CI 1.06–1.78, p=0.018) and among those who reported using social media to share health information (OR=1.51; 95% CI: 1.02–2.23, p=0.041). CONCLUSIONS Only 48% of US adults endorsed support for restricting the exposure of children to smoking in movies. This study has identified subgroups of US adults for whom tailored communication interventions may increase support for policies that protect children from early initiation of smoking.