The Effects of Smoking-Related Television Advertising on Smoking and Intentions to Quit Among Adults in the United States: 1999-2007

Objectives: We investigated whether state-sponsored antitobacco advertisements are associated with reduced adult smoking, and interactions between smoking-related advertising types.

Methods: We measured mean exposure to smoking-related advertisements with television ratings for the top-75 US media markets from 1999 to 2007. We combined these data with individual-level Current Population Surveys Tobacco Use Supplement data and state tobacco control policy data.

Results: Higher exposure to state-sponsored, Legacy, and pharmaceutical advertisements was associated with less smoking; higher exposure to tobacco industry advertisements was associated with more smoking. Higher exposure to state- and Legacy-sponsored advertisements was positively associated with intentions to quit and having made a past-year quit attempt; higher exposure to ads for pharmaceutical cessation aids was negatively associated with having made a quit attempt. There was a significant negative interaction between state- and Legacy-sponsored advertisements.

Conclusions: Exposure to state-sponsored advertisements was far below Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended best practices. The significant negative relationships between antismoking advertising and adult smoking provide strong evidence that tobacco-control media campaigns help reduce adult smoking. The significant negative interaction between state- and Legacy-sponsored advertising suggests that the campaigns reinforce one another.

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April 2012

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