Evaluation of a mass media campaign promoting using help to quit smoking

Laura A. Gibson, Sarah A. Parvanta, Michelle Jeong, Robert C. Hornik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


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. Purpose The effects of a Philadelphia adult smoking-cessation media campaign targeting using help in ad taglines were analyzed from March to November 2012. This study distinctively analyzed 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 PA 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=2,786). In addition, a subsample of these respondents was reinterviewed 3 months later (n=877). Results On average, participants reported seeing campaign ads four times per week. Among individual respondents, each additional campaign exposure per week increased the likelihood of later reporting using help (OR=1.08, p<0.01), adjusting for baseline use of help and other potential confounders. This corresponded to a 5% increase in the 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 of population-level campaign effects on use of help. Conclusions Although the campaign was effective at the individual level, its effects were too small to have a population-detectable impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-495
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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