Impact of promotion of the Great American Smokeout and availability of over-the-counter nicotine medications, 1996

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1997 Sep 19;46(37):867-71.


The 1996 Great American Smokeout (GASO), sponsored by the American Cancer Society (ACS), was held on November 21 and included a national promotional campaign in collaboration with a distributor of over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine medications. The 1996 GASO was the first to use a national promotion that included paid advertising of the GASO through television, magazines, and newspapers; direct-to-consumer promotions; and educational activities about GASO in retail stores that sell OTC nicotine medications. To estimate the impact of this promotional partnership between ACS and a distributor of OTC nicotine medications on smoking-cessation activity, the collaborators analyzed data from three sources. This report summarizes the findings, which suggest that the promotional campaign, combined with OTC availability of nicotine medications, encouraged smoking-cessation activity.

MeSH terms

  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use*
  • Nicotinic Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • United States


  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Nicotine