Traditional and innovative promotional strategies of tobacco cessation services: a review of the literature

J Community Health. 2014 Aug;39(4):800-9. doi: 10.1007/s10900-014-9825-y.


An estimated 43.5 million American adults currently smoke cigarettes. Well-designed tobacco education campaigns with adequate reach increase cessation and reduce tobacco use. Smokers report great interest in quitting but few use effective treatments including quitlines (QLs). This review examined traditional (TV, radio, print ads) versus innovative tobacco cessation (internet, social media) promotions for QL services. Between November 2011 and January 2012, searches were conducted on EBSCO, PubMed, Wilson, OCLC, CQ Press, Google Scholar, Gale, LexisNexis, and JSTOR. Existing literature shows that the amount of radio and print advertising, and promotion of free cessation medications increases QL call volume. Television advertising volume seems to be the best predictor of QL service awareness. Much of the literature on Internet advertising compares the characteristics of participants recruited for studies through various channels. The majority of the papers indicated that Internet-recruited participants were younger; this was the only demographic characteristic with high agreement across studies. Traditional media was only studied within mass media campaigns with TV ads having a consistent impact on increasing calls to QLs, therefore, it is hard to distinguish the impact of traditional media as an independent QL promotion intervention. With innovative media, while many QL services have a presence on social media sites, there is no literature on evaluating the effectiveness of these channels for quitline promotion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Advertising
  • Consumer Health Information / methods*
  • Databases, Bibliographic
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Promotion / trends
  • Hotlines*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Marketing of Health Services / methods*
  • Mass Media
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Social Media
  • United States / epidemiology