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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Promoting Calls to a Quitline: Quantifying the Influence of Message Theme, Strong Negative Emotions

Wednesday, November 9, 2011  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Farrelly MC, Davis KC, Nonnemaker JM, Kamyab K, Jackson C. Tob Control. 2011 Jul;20(4):279-84. Epub 2011 Feb 2.
This study examined the relative effectiveness on promoting calls to a smoker’s quitilne of television ads that had different themes, portrayals of negative emotions, and/or use of graphic images. Ads were grouped by their objective (promoting cessation, highlighting the dangers of secondhand smoke, or other), and by their portrayals of strong negative emotions and graphic images. Total target audience rating points (TARPs) (i.e., a rough measure of how many people see an ad) are positively correlated with per smoker callvolume. Cessation advertisements are more effective than SHS ads in promoting calls to the quitline. Ads with graphic images only or neither strong negative emotions nor graphic images are associated with higher call volume. Call volume was not significantly associated with the number of TARPs for ads with strong negative emotions only or with both graphic image and strong emotions. The authors conclude that exposure to television ads is strongly associated with quitline call volume, and both cessation and SHS ads can be effective. The use of strong negative emotions in advertisements may be effective in promoting smoking cessation in the population but does not appear to influence quitline call volume. The authors call for further research to understand the role of negative emotions in promoting calls to quitlines and cessation more broadly among the majority of smokers who do not call quitlines.

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