The influence of television advertisements on promoting calls to telephone quitlines

Health Educ Res. 2013 Feb;28(1):15-22. doi: 10.1093/her/cys113. Epub 2012 Dec 4.


The aim of the study was to assess the relative effectiveness of cessation, secondhand smoke and other tobacco control television advertisements in promoting quitlines in nine states from 2002 through 2005. Quarterly, the number of individuals who used quitlines per 10 000 adult smokers in a media market are measured. Negative binomial regression analysis was used to link caller rates to market-level exposure to tobacco control television advertisements overall and by message theme. The relationship between caller rates and advertising exposure was positive and statistically significant (P < 0.001). Advertisements that focus on promoting cessation (P < 0.001), highlighting the dangers of secondhand smoke (P = 0.037), and all other tobacco countermarketing advertisements (P = 0.027) were significantly associated with quitline caller rates. For every 10% increase in exposure to cessation, secondhand smoke and other tobacco countermarketing advertisements, caller rates increased by 1.1, 0.2 and 0.4%, respectively. Caller rates significantly increased in quarters when cigarette excise tax increased (P < 0.001) and when the percentage of the population covered by comprehensive smoke-free air laws increased (P = 0.022). Although advertisements promoting cessation are the most effective in driving quitline use, other topics, such as messages highlighting the dangers of secondhand smoke, also prompt their quitlines.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advertising*
  • Hotlines / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Television*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution