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Am J Public Health. 1990 May;80(5):565-9.

Long-term effectiveness of mass media led antismoking campaigns in Australia.

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Department of Public Health, University of Sydney, New South Wales.


A community antismoking campaign began in Sydney, Australia in 1983, and in Melbourne in 1984. These campaigns purchased prime-time television advertising spots to set the community agenda. An intense effort was made to ensure that antismoking activities were maximized at the school, organizational, and community level. Smoking prevalences in both cities from 1981 were fitted with a statistical model to identify any underlying trend, to assess any immediate impact, and to assess the longer term effect of continuing to conduct such campaigns, i.e. to identify any change in the underlying trend. During the years before the antismoking campaigns, there was no observable trend in smoking prevalence in either city. At the beginning of the campaigns, there was an immediate drop of more than two percentage points in male and female smoking prevalence in both cities. Thereafter, a decline of about 1.5 percentage points per year was observed among males. No post campaign trend was observed in smoking prevalence for women in either city. These data support conducting coordinated community campaigns to reduce current smoking prevalence.

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