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Recall of anti-tobacco advertisements and effects on quitting behavior: results from the California smokers cohort.



We assessed whether an anti-tobacco television advertisement called "Stages," which depicted a woman giving a brief emotional narrative of her experiences with tobacco use, would be recalled more often and have a greater effect on smoking cessation than 3 other advertisements with different intended themes.


Our data were derived from a sample of 2596 California adult smokers. We used multivariable log-binomial and modified Poisson regression models to calculate respondents' probability of quitting as a result of advertisement recall.


More respondents recalled the "Stages" ad (58.5%) than the 3 other ads (23.1%, 23.4%, and 25.6%; P<.001). Respondents who recalled "Stages" at baseline had a higher probability than those who did not recall the ad of making a quit attempt between baseline and follow-up (adjusted risk ratio [RR]=1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.03, 1.34) and a higher probability of being in a period of smoking abstinence for at least a month at follow-up (adjusted RR=1.55; 95% CI=1.02, 2.37).


Anti-tobacco television advertisements that depict visceral and personal messages may be recalled by a larger percentage of smokers and may have a greater impact on smoking cessation than other types of advertisements.

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