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Mass media campaigning (e.g., advertising or news coverage) can encourage tobacco users to seek help in stopping smoking.



Mass media advertising encouraging smokers to quit increases calls to telephone helplines and visits to websites designed for smokers (e.g. Owen, 2000; Wakefield & Borland, 2000; CDC, 2012), or as a way to promote cessation programs (Biener et al., 2006). Research in the US has demonstrated that promotion of the 1996 Great American Smokeout combined with OTC availability of NRT encouraged smoking cessation activity (Burton et al., 1997). In addition, Farrelly et al. (2007) found that radio, television, and print mass media were all effective in achieving increased calls to the quitline in New York State, with television advertising the most effective but highest cost. Lastly, television advertising that promotes quitline use as a specific cessation aid was found to stimulate quitline uptake in diverse populations, including the Maori of New Zealand (Wilson et al., 2005) and the national quitline in Australia (Miller et al., 2003). Of note is a study reporting that tobacco control campaigns should be sustained over time given that quitting behavior was observed within the first month of exposure of viewing campaign advertisements, but not in subsequent months (Langley et al., 2012). Lastly, a recent systematic review published by the Cochrane Collaboration found that comprehensive tobacco control programs that include mass media campaigns can be effective in changing smoking behavior (e.g., significant reductions in tobacco consumption) (Bala et al., 2013).

Advertising for NRT also increases its use in exposed populations and can lead to more quitting, even without NRT (Tauras et al., 2005; Avery et al., 2007).



Avery R, Kenkel D, et al. Private profits and public health: does advertising of smoking cessation products encourage smokers to quit? Journal of Political Economy. 2007; 115(3): 447-481.

Bala MM, Strzeszynski L, Topor-Madry R, Cahill K. Mass media interventions for smoking cessation in adults. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2013;6:CD004704.

Biener L, Reimer RL, Wakefield M, Szczypka G, Rigotti NA, Connolly G. Impact of smoking cessation aids and mass media among recent quitters. Am J Prev Med. 2006; 30: 217-224.

Burton SL, Kemper KE, Baxter TA, Shiffman S, Gitchell J, Currence C. Impact of promotion of the Great American Smokeout and availability of over-the-counter nicotine medication . Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1997; 46: 867-871.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tips from former smokers [accessed 2013 May 1].

Farrelly MC, Hussin A, Bauer UE. Effectiveness and cost effectiveness of television, radio, and print advertisements in promoting the New York smokers quitline. Tob Control. 2007; 16(Suppl 1): i21-i23.

Langley TE, McNeill A, Lewis S, Szatkowski L, Quinn C. The impact of media campaigns on smoking cessation activity: a structural vector autoregression analysis. Addiction. 2012; 107: 2043-2050.

Miller CM, Wakefield M, Roberts L. Uptake and effectiveness of the Australian telephone Quitline service in the context of a mass media campaign. Tob Control. 2003; 12 (Suppl 2): ii53-ii58.

Owen L. Impact of a telephone helpline for smokers who called during a mass media campaign. Tob Control. 2000; 9(2): 148-154.

Tauras JA, Chaloupka FJ, Emery S. The impact of advertising on nicotine replacement therapy demand. Soc Sci Med. 2005; 60(10): 2351-2358.

Wakefield M, Borland R. Saved by the bell: the role of telephone helpline services in the context of mass-media anti-smoking campaigns. Tob Control. 2000; 9(2): 117-119.

Wilson N, Grigg M, Graham L, Cameron G. The effectiveness of television advertising campaigns on generating calls to a national Quitline by M?ori. Tob Control. 2005; 14(4): 284-286.

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