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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: Research suggests anti-tobacco television advertising that produces strong emotional arousal may be more effective in prompting smokers to quit. The aim of this study was to examine factors that may influence the effectiveness of this kind of advertising, including demographic characteristics, discussions generated by the ad, and the television program context in which smokers were exposed.
Methods: 18-44 year-old daily smokers (n=205) completed a pre-exposure telephone interview where they were asked to watch a particular television program that they usually watched. During the program, a new emotive advertisement played which graphically emphasised how every cigarette destroys lung tissue. Post exposure interviews were conducted within 2 days of exposure.
Results: Around 75% recalled the ad and almost all exposed participants understood and believed it. Three quarters of those exposed felt more concerned about their smoking and around half agreed the ad motivated them to try to quit. Over a quarter of those exposed, discussed the ad and those who discussed the ad were more likely to be motivated to quit. Those who saw the television ad within a comedy program were less likely to believe the ad, while those who saw it during a reality TV / game show were more likely to discuss the ad and be motivated to quit smoking. These results suggest that this kind of emotive advertising has broad appeal and can elicit discussion that leads people closer to quitting. Avoiding advertisement placement in comedy programs may make advertising dollars go further.