Smoking-Cessation Media Campaigns and Their Effectiveness Among Socioeconomically Advantaged and Disadvantaged Populations

The impact of televised smoking cessation ads were examined to determine whether they differed by a population's education and income.

The study used longitudinal data from the Wisconsin Behavioral Health Survey, a statewide sample of 452 adult smokers who were interviewed in 2003 to 2004 and followed up one year later. Logistic regression was used to assess whether baseline recall of secondhand smoke ads and "keep trying to quit" ads was associated with quit attempts and smoking abstinence at one year. Interaction terms were used to assess whether these associations differed by the smokers' education and income levels.

Overall, neither keep-trying-to-quit nor secondhand smoke ad recall was associated with quit attempts or smoking abstinence. Keep-trying-to-quit ads were significantly more effective in promoting quit attempts among higher- versus lower-educated populations. No differences were observed for secondhand smoke ads by the smokers' education or income levels.

The authors concluded that some media campaign messages appear less effective in promoting quit attempts among less-educated populations compared with those who have more education. There is a need to develop media campaigns that are more effective with less-educated smokers.