Increasing evidence for the efficacy of tobacco control mass media communication programming in low- and middle-income countries

J Health Commun. 2011 Aug;16 Suppl 2:49-58. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2011.601395.


Antitobacco mass media campaigns have had good success at changing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors with respect to smoking in high-income countries provided they are sustained. Mass media campaigns should be a critical component of tobacco control programs in low- and lower-middle-income countries. Mounting evidence shows that graphic campaigns and those that evoke negative emotions run over long periods of time have achieved the most influence. These types of campaigns are now being implemented in low- and middle-income countries. The authors provide 3 case studies of first-ever graphic warning mass media campaigns in China, India, and Russia, 3 priority high-burden countries in the global Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use. In each of these countries, message testing of core messages provided confidence in messages, and evaluations demonstrated message uptake. The authors argue that given the initial success of these campaigns, governments in low- and middle-income countries should consider resourcing and sustaining these interventions as key components of their tobacco control strategies and programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Developing Countries*
  • Health Communication / methods*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Mass Media*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Russia
  • Smoking Prevention*