Effectiveness of tobacco control television advertising in changing tobacco use in England: a population-based cross-sectional study

Michelle Sims, Ruth Salway, Tessa Langley, Sarah Lewis, Ann McNeill, Lisa Szatkowski, Anna B. Gilmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Aim: To examine whether government-funded tobacco control television advertising shown in England between 2002 and 2010 reduced adult smoking prevalence and cigarette consumption.
Design: Analysis of monthly cross-sectional surveys using generalised additive models. Setting: England.
Participants: More than 80000 adults aged 18 years or over living in England and interviewed in the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.
Measurements: Current smoking status, smokers' daily cigarette consumption, tobacco control gross rating points (GRPs-a measure of per capita advertising exposure combining reach and frequency), cigarette costliness, tobacco control activity, socio-demographic variables.
Findings: After adjusting for other tobacco control policies, cigarette costliness and individual characteristics, we found that a 400-point increase in tobacco control GRPs per month, equivalent to all adults in the population seeing four advertisements per month (although actual individual-level exposure varies according to TV exposure), was associated with 3% lower odds of smoking 2months later [odds ratio (OR)=0.97, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.95, 0.999] and accounted for 13.5% of the decline in smoking prevalence seen over this period. In smokers, a 400-point increase in GRPs was associated with a 1.80% (95%CI=0.47, 3.11) reduction in average cigarette consumption in the following month and accounted for 11.2% of the total decline in consumption over the period 2002-09.
Conclusion: Government-funded tobacco control television advertising shown in England between 2002 and 2010 was associated with reductions in smoking prevalence and smokers' cigarette consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)986-994
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Early online date28 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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