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Am J Public Health. 2008 May;98(5):916-24. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.117499. Epub 2008 Apr 1.

Smoking-cessation media campaigns and their effectiveness among socioeconomically advantaged and disadvantaged populations.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar, Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Room 707, WARF Building, 610 Walnut St, Madison, WI 53726-2397, USA.



We examined whether the impact of televised smoking cessation ads differed by a population's education and income.


We 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 1 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 1 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.


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.

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