Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication & Theatre Arts


Lifespan and Digital Communication

Committee Director

Thomas J. Socha

Committee Member

Gary Beck

Committee Member

Yi-Fan Chen

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C47 S76 2014


Smoking is a serious global public health threat that causes more than 6 million deaths annually (WHO, 2013). Smoking is also the single, most preventable cause of death (CDC, 2014). According to a recent study, Bulgaria was ranked as one of onlyl 1 countries in the world, in which half of the adult male population smokes, as well as one of 11 countries in which more than one-quarter of the adult female population smokes. Research suggests that the most significant predictors of smoking behavior in Bulgaria were age and geographic location (Balabanova, Bobak & McKee, 1998). Contributing to these finings, generational gaps in information communication literacy and technology were also found to be a contemporary phenomenon in Bulgaria (Mihailova, 2009). The primary purpose of this thesis was to inform potential public health interventions, aiming in decreasing the high number of smokers in Bulgaria. More specifically, the goals of the study were to deepen the current understanding about generational differences in the current health information seeking behavior in Bulgaria as well as the current attitudes and cultural perception in regards to smoking. The intended audience for this analysis was public health practitioners, policy makers, interested agencies, community groups, and academic researchers.

Triangulation in data collection and data analysis was performed in order to answer eleven research questions. Findings indicated that there were statistically significant generational differences between GEN X (1961-1981) and GEN Y (1981- 2001) in: concern with quality of health and medical information online, perception of how easy it is for a person to quit smoking, perception of the health consequences of first-hand smoking, and in the attempts to quit smoking in the past year. Generational differences in cultural trends in regards to smoking were also noted in the qualitative analysis. Finally, guidelines for translating these data into an applied public health intervention in Bulgaria were discussed.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).