Awareness of anti-smoking messages on television, radio, or billboards, or in newspapers or magazines, significantly increased the odds that current smokers intend to quit in 14 of 17 countries surveyed, according to a study released in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These findings from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) support previous research showing antismoking campaigns encourage smokers to quit. The study, “Anti-Smoking Messages and Intention to Quit—17 Countries, 2008–2011,” contain data from the following 17 countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Viet Nam. The full study is available at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/.
In concert with other proven tobacco control strategies, efforts like CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers, tobacco education ad campaign are needed to counter the nearly $1 million an hour spent on marketing cigarettes in the United States. The Tips campaign is responsible for sharp increases in calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a toll-free quitline number, and visits to www.cdc.gov/tips in 2012 and 2013. Both resources offer smokers free help quitting.
In January 2014, the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. report linking smoking and lung cancer, the Surgeon General will release a new report on smoking and health, reviewing progress, releasing new findings on health effects of smoking, and outlining how we can end the continuing epidemic of tobacco-related deaths and diseases.