Discourse / Discours - Reaching Adolescent Girls Through Social Networking: A New Avenue for Smoking Prevention Messages


  • Laura Louise Struik
  • Joan L. Bottorff
  • Mary Jung
  • Claire Budgen


Because adolescent girls are being targeted on social networking sites by the tobacco industry, new online tobacco control (TC) initiatives are needed. The purpose of this interpretive descriptive study was to explore adolescent girls' perspectives on the use of social networking sites to deliver TC messages targeting young women. Focus groups were conducted with 17 girls aged 16 to 19. Seven TC messages were provided for evaluation and as context for discussion about the delivery of TC messages on social networking sites. Data were analyzed for themes, which included concerns about the effectiveness of current TC messages and the stereotypical representations of gender, factors perceived to influence the effectiveness of TC messages on social networking sites, and suggestions for enhancing the effectiveness of TC messages placed on social networking sites. Endorsement of TC messaging on social networking sites suggests that this medium is an untapped resource for smoking prevention.