PURPOSE: Evaluate the perceived effectiveness of key antismoking messages among highly disadvantaged smokers and assess the impact of nicotine dependence and cessation cognitions on message processing.
DESIGN: The experimental crossover trial, undertaken between March and December 2012, randomly exposed participants to two of three antismoking advertisements delivered via touchscreen computer.
SETTING: Welfare recipients were recruited from a community service organization in New South Wales, Australia.
SUBJECTS: Subjects were 354 smokers (79% response rate). Participants resided in government rental housing (52%), earned less than AUD$400/wk (72%), and received their primary income from government welfare (95%).
INTERVENTION: Three 30-second antismoking television advertisements representing common campaign themes: why to quit (graphic imagery), why to quit (personal testimonial), or how to quit.
MEASURES: An 11-item scale assessed perceived effectiveness and message acceptance. An eight-item cessation cognitions index assessed motivations and readiness to quit, and the heaviness of smoking index was used to classify nicotine dependence.
ANALYSIS: Descriptive statistics, generalized linear mixed models, and multiple linear regression analyses are reported.
RESULTS: Why-to-quit advertisements were perceived as significantly more effective than the how-to-quit advertisement (all p < .0001). Smokers with positive cessation cognitions were more likely to accept antismoking messages (p = .0003) and perceive them as effective (p < .0001). Nicotine dependence level did not influence message acceptance (p = .7322) or effectiveness (p = .8872).
CONCLUSION: Highly emotive advertisements providing good reasons to quit may be the most effective in promoting the antismoking message among groups with high smoking rates.
- Health focus: smoking control
- Outcome measure: cognitive
- Research purpose: descriptive
- Setting: clinical/health care
- Strategy: behavior change
- Study design: quasi-experimental
- Target population change: adults
- Target population: education/income level
- Tobacco, Health Promotion, Socioeconomic Factors, Mass Media, Prevention Research. Manuscript format: research