Televised Antismoking Advertising: Effects of Level and Duration of Exposure

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Objectives. We assessed the effects of levels and duration of exposure to televised antismoking advertising on cognitive and behavioral changes.

Methods. We used data from a serial cross-sectional telephone survey with weekly interviews of adult smokers and recent quitters in New South Wales, Australia (n = 13 301), between April 2005 and December 2010. We merged survey data with commercial TV ratings data to estimate individuals’ exposure to antismoking advertising.

Results. Logistic regression analyses indicated that after adjustment for a wide range of potential confounders, exposure to antismoking advertising at levels between 100 and 200 gross rating points per week on average over 6 to 9 weeks was associated with an increased likelihood of having (1) salient quitting thoughts and (2) recent quit attempts. Associations between exposure for shorter periods and these outcomes were not significant.

Conclusions. Broadcasting schedules may affect the success of antismoking ads. Campaign planners should ensure advertising exposure at adequate frequency over relatively sustained periods to maximize impact.

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Sally Dunlop, PhD, Trish Cotter, MPH, Donna Perez, MPH, and Melanie Wakefield, PhDSally Dunlop is with the Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia. Trish Cotter and Donna Perez are with the Prevention Division, Cancer Institute New South Wales, Australia. Trish Cotter is also a technical advisor for the World Lung Foundation, New York, NY. Melanie Wakefield is with the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. “Televised Antismoking Advertising: Effects of Level and Duration of Exposure”, American Journal of Public Health 103, no. 8 (August 1, 2013): pp. e66-e73.

PMID: 23763419