Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Communication and Digital Studies

Department Chair or Program Director

Rao, Anand

First Advisor

Goldman, Adria

Major or Concentration

Communication and Digital Studies


truth® (“truth”) is an anti-smoking campaign that was created to fight against the tobacco industry by showcasing the various health, social, and economic effects of smoking so that young people can make healthy and educated decisions. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the campaign’s rhetorical messaging through a qualitative content analysis across all their social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube). Specifically, this study identifies common themes, characteristics, and fear appeal elements used in truth’s messaging. Results of this study indicate that truth’s social media posts adhere to many of the themes and characteristics that were identified in prior research on their television advertisements. The fear appeal elements of threat and efficacy, as defined by the extended parallel processing model, were also identified multiple times. Many of these messaging strategies have been adapted to the changing interests of adolescents to address the lesser-understood facts about vaping.

Included in

Communication Commons