Gibson, L., Parvanta, S., Jeong, M. & Hornik, R.C. (2014). Evaluation of a mass media campaign promoting using help to quit smoking. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 46(5), 487-495. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2014.01.011
Background: Although there is evidence that promoting individual cessation aids increases their utilization, mass media campaigns highlighting the benefit of using help to quit have not been evaluated before.
Purpose: The effects of a Philadelphia adult smoking cessation media campaign targeting using help in ad taglines were analyzed from March to November 2012. It distinctively analyzes the campaign’s impact at both the population level (effects on the average person) and the individual level (effects among those who reported exposure).
Methods: The 16-month mass media campaign aired in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from December 2010 to March 2012. A representative sample of adult Philadelphia smokers was interviewed by telephone at baseline (n=491) and new samples were interviewed monthly throughout the campaign (n=2786). In addition, a sub-sample of these respondents was re-interviewed 3 months later (n=877).
Results: On average, participants reported seeing campaign ads 4 times per week. Among individual respondents, each additional campaign exposure per week increased the likelihood of later reporting using help (OR = 1.08, p<.01), adjusting for baseline use of help and other potential confounders. This corresponded to a 5% increase in use of help for those with average exposure relative to those with no exposure. Cross-sectional associations between individual campaign exposure and intentions to use help were consistent with these lagged findings. However, there was no evidence for population-level campaign effects on use of help.
Conclusions: Results suggest that the campaign was effective at the individual level; however, its effects were too small to have a population-detectable impact.