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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

Friday, July 14, 2006 - 3:45 PM

Does the Effect of Anti-Smoking Television Advertising on Calls to a Quitline Vary by Socio-Economic Status?

Mohammad Siahpush, PhD, MBiostat, Melanie Wakefield, PhD, MA, Matt Spittal, PhD, and Sarah Durkin, PhD. Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, The Cancer Council Victoria, 100 Drummond Street, Carlton, 3053, Victoria, Australia

Objective: It has been suggested that smoking interventions are less effective with low socioeconomic groups. Our aim was to assess socioeconomic variations in the impact of anti-tobacco television advertising on the number of calls to the Quitline in the state of Victoria, Australia.

Methods: The outcome measure was the number of calls to the Quitline in Victoria for each week and each socioeconomic group for the period January 2001 to March 2004. Socioeconomic status (SES) was derived from the caller's postcode using the Index of Socio-economic Disadvantage provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The exposure measure was weekly Target Audience Rating Points (TARPs, a standard measure of television advertising weight) for anti-tobacco advertising broadcast in Victoria over the same period. Negative binomial regression was used to examine the interaction of SES and TARPs in their effect on the number of Quitline calls.

Results: The effect of the presence or increasing levels of anti-smoking TARPs on the volume of Quitline calls did not vary across categories of SES. Different SES groups have a similar level of responsiveness to anti-smoking television advertisements, at least as measured by the number of Quitline calls, in the context of advertising emphasizing the serious health effects of smoking and Quitline promotion. These findings increase confidence that anti-tobacco advertising plays an important role in motivating help-seeking for quitting among all smokers in the population.