Promotion of Smoking Cessation with Emotional and/or Graphic Antismoking Advertising

Public Health and Environment Division, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Electronic address: .
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 11/2012; 43(5):475-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.07.023
Source: PubMed


Antismoking campaigns can be effective in promoting cessation, but less is known about the dose of advertising related to behavioral change among adult smokers, which types of messages are most effective, and effects on populations disproportionately affected by tobacco use.
To assess the impact of emotional and/or graphic antismoking TV advertisements on quit attempts in the past 12 months among adult smokers in New York State.
Individual-level data come from the 2003 through 2010 New York Adult Tobacco Surveys. The influence of exposure to antismoking advertisements overall, emotional and/or graphic advertisements, and other types of advertisements on reported attempts to stop smoking was examined. Exposure was measured by self-reported confirmed recall and market-level gross rating points. Analyses conducted in Spring 2012 included 8780 smokers and were stratified by desire to quit, income, and education.
Both measures of exposure to antismoking advertisements are positively associated with an increased odds of making a quit attempt among all smokers, among smokers who want to quit, and among smokers in different household income brackets (<$30,000 and ≥$30,000) and education levels (high-school degree or less education and at least some college education). Exposure to emotional and/or graphic advertisements is positively associated with making quit attempts among smokers overall and by desire to quit, income, and education. Exposure to advertisements without strong negative emotions or graphic images had no effect.
Strongly emotional and graphic antismoking advertisements are effective in increasing population-level quit attempts among adult smokers.

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    • "Although we cannot be certain that the CDC ads were the cause of this increase in service volumes because other promotions were running at the same time, it is reasonable to conclude that they contributed to this dramatic increase. These results appear consistent with past studies demonstrating the effectiveness of ''why-to-quit'' ads (Farrelly et al., 2012) and with CDC's evaluation of the Tips campaign. Results of the Tips evaluation found the campaign increased population-level quit attempts by 12%, resulting in an estimated additional 1.64 million smokers making quit attempts as a result (McAfee, Davis, Alexander, Pechacek, &amp; Bunnell, 2013). "
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    • "message responses associated with campaign effectiveness—in particular, emotional responses and perceptions of message effectiveness. The elicitation of an emotional response is an important pathway through which antismoking messages lead to behavior change (National Cancer Institute, 2008), and a number of recent studies have shown that emotionally evocative antismoking messages are particularly effective at increasing quitting behaviors (Durkin, Biener, &amp; Wakefield, 2009;Durkin, Wakefield, &amp; Spittal, 2011;Farrelly et al., 2012). Along similar lines, there is increasing evidence that antismoking messages are more likely to produce positive changes in intentions and behaviors when smokers perceive that the message was effective (Bigsby, Cappella, &amp; Seitz, 2013;Brennan, Durkin, Wakefield, &amp; Kashima, 2014;Davis, Nonnemaker, Duke, &amp; Farrelly, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Campaign-stimulated conversations have been shown to increase the effectiveness of antismoking campaigns. In order to explore why such effects occur, in the current study we coded the content of naturally occurring conversations. We also examined whether the short-term effects of talking, and of different types of talk, on quitting intentions were mediated through intrapersonal message responses. Using the Natural ExposureSM methodology, we exposed 411 smokers to 1 of 6 antismoking advertisements while they were watching television at home. Responses to the advertisement—conversation participation and content, emotional responses, personalized perceived effectiveness, and changes in intentions to quit—were measured within 3 days of exposure. Conversations were coded for appraisal of the advertisement (favorable, neutral, or unfavorable) and the presence of quitting talk and emotion talk. Mediation analyses indicated that the positive effects of talking on intention change were mediated through personalized perceived effectiveness and that the positive effects were driven by conversations that contained a favorable appraisal and/or quitting talk. Conversely, conversations that contained an unfavorable appraisal of the advertisement were negatively associated with campaign effectiveness. These findings highlight the importance of measuring interpersonal communication when evaluating campaigns and the need for further research to identify the message characteristics that predict when smokers talk and when they talk only in desirable ways.
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    • "Tobacco control mass media campaigns have been shown to play a key role in encouraging smoking cessation among adults [1-5] and in reducing smoking prevalence [6]. In addition, there is growing evidence to suggest that campaigns featuring emotive or graphic content are more effective than those which do not [7-9]. While several studies have investigated youth recall of tobacco control advertising [10-13], only two to date have examined the impact of campaign content on recall among adults [14,15]. "
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