TV advertising shown to be most effective
Most smokers want to quit, but even among those who try, less than 5% manage to stop smoking for more than three months. There is a major ongoing effort to encourage quitting, the National Action Plan for Tobacco Cessation. This comprehensive plan has six main initiatives, only one of which, a national telephone quit line, has been implemented to date. To evaluate the effectiveness of various strategies, researchers identified 787 people who had quit smoking in the past two years and asked them what had worked for them.
The results, reported in the March issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, evaluated the effect of televised ad campaigns promoting quitting and seven conventional types of cessation help; nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), prescribed medications, professional help or advice, self-help materials, cessation programs, telephone quit line, or web-based cessation sites. The impact of a particular quitting aid is measured by multiplying the efficacy rate by its participation rate or penetration into the population. For example, Method A might not be as effective as Method B for individual smokers, but if Method A reaches 90% of all smokers and Method B reaches only 5%, Method A might be the better choice as part of a national program.
Charlotte Seidman | EurekAlert!
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