The Oregon Health Authority’s public health campaign aimed at preventing teenage cannabis use has successfully raised awareness among its target audience as to the risks associated with underage cannabis use, according to an independent evaluation funded by the OHA.
Conducted by RMC Research Corp., the evaluation looked at the effectiveness of the Stay True to You campaign at three different points: once at the beginning of the campaign, once in the middle and once at the end.
Although the campaign did not alter the overall cannabis desire for teens and young adults, researchers did find that the campaign had a positive effect on the awareness of underage cannabis use.
By the end of the campaign, a statistically significant higher portion of respondents were able to correctly identify the social norms and risks associated with underage cannabis use.
“We know that social norms and perceived risk of use are known predictors of substance use behavior,” said Kati Moseley, OHA policy specialist at the OHA Public Health Division, as quoted by KTVZ. “In the face of increased marijuana industry advertising, this campaign communicated those two crucial messages effectively to our audience.”
In response to the evaluation, the OHA-PHD has issued several recommendations for lawmakers, including requiring cannabis businesses to disclose how much they spend on marketing and advertising, placing restrictions on the signage of cannabis dispensaries and protecting local control.