Potential effectiveness of specific anti-smoking mass media advertisements among Australian Indigenous smokers

Harold S. Stewart, Jacqueline A. Bowden, Megan C. Bayly, Greg R. Sharplin, Sarah J. Durkin, Caroline L. Miller, Sharon E. Givans, Charles D. Warne, Melanie A. Wakefield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (Indigenous Australians) have more than twice the smoking prevalence of non-Indigenous Australians. Anti-smoking campaigns have demonstrated success in the general population but little is known about their impact among Indigenous people. A total of 143 Indigenous and a comparison group of 156 non-Indigenous smokers from South Australia were shown 10 anti-smoking advertisements representing a range of advertisements typically aired in Australia. Participants rated advertisements on a five-point Likert scale assessing factors including message acceptance and personalized effectiveness. On average, Indigenous people rated the mainstream advertisements higher than non-Indigenous people and were more likely to report that they provided new information. Advertisements with strong graphic imagery depicting the health effects of smoking were rated highest by Indigenous smokers. Advertisements featuring real people describing the serious health consequences of smoking received mixed responses. Those featuring an ill person were rated higher by Indigenous people than those featuring the family of the person affected by a smoking-related disease. With limited Indigenous-specific messages available and given the finite resources of most public health campaigns, exposure to mainstream strong graphic and emotive first-person narratives about the health effects of smoking are likely to be highly motivating for Indigenous smokers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-975
Number of pages15
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


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