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Research Article Research Article

truth® brand awareness proven to drive down vaping rates in young people

Young people with strong truth® brand awareness and loyalty had 19% lower odds of vaping and 25% lower odds of intending to vape a year and half later, according to new research published in BMC Public Health. Increases in brand equity, or audience perception of a brand, were also associated with 21% lower odds of intention to vape and 9% greater odds of having negative attitudes about e-cigarettes, suggesting that strengthening the truth brand is an effective strategy for influencing e-cigarette attitudes and intentions, much like it is for smoking prevention campaigns.

truth was one of the first health-related campaigns to build a brand to amplify its message, and since its launch, the brand has been proven effective in lowering smoking rates and intentions to smoke in young people. This study is the first to show that perception of the truth brand is a valuable tool that can be leveraged to influence e-cigarette attitudes and behaviors as well.

truth changes vaping attitudes and behaviors

Researchers surveyed 6,000+ 15–24-year-olds from a nationally representative sample who recognized the truth brand. In spring 2018 and spring 2019, researchers asked young people about brand loyalty, popularity, personality, and awareness as it relates to tobacco, averaging measures together to determine “brand equity.” For example, respondents who agreed with phrases like “I’d like to help truth make a difference in my generation,” were determined to have strong brand loyalty. Researchers followed up with the same group with questions about e-cigarette attitudes, intentions to use e-cigarettes, and e-cigarette use in fall 2019.

The truth brand succeeded in significantly changing vaping attitudes and behaviors. Survey respondents with strong truth brand awareness and loyalty in spring 2018 were significantly associated with 19% lower odds of current e-cigarette use, 17% greater anti-e-cigarette attitudes, and 25% lower odds of intention to use e-cigarettes 18 months later.

Strengthening the truth brand to address vaping

Researchers also tracked changes in brand equity in the same group over time and found that a small increase in brand equity score over a year was associated with 21% lower odds of intention to vape and 9% greater odds of having anti-e-cigarette attitudes.

Findings mean that strengthening brand equity can influence e-cigarette related attitudes and intentions, as it does for smoking prevention campaigns. “While the observed increase in brand equity over time was small, it produced a significant effect on anti-e-cigarette outcomes…” the authors write. “Successful efforts to further increase brand equity in truth may produce even greater prevention effects.”

This research follows another recent study on the effectiveness of truth vaping prevention campaigns. Published in Tobacco Control, the study found that the campaigns successfully shifted young people’s knowledge and attitudes towards e-cigarettes.