BACKGROUND: Since 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has implemented Tips From Former Smokers ( Tips), the first federally funded tobacco education campaign in the United States. To date, there are no evaluations of its long-term impact.
AIMS: To assess the impact of varied doses of the Tips campaign from 2012 through 2015 on cessation-related behaviors and intentions among U.S. smokers.
METHOD: We used a national probability-based online survey of cigarette smokers ( n = 22,189) and recent quitters ( n = 776) to examine associations between doses of Tips advertising, measured by gross rating points (GRPs), and intentions to quit smoking in the next 30 days and quit attempts within the past 3 months. A curvilinear (i.e., square root) functional form of GRPs was used to capture patterns of diminishing effects at higher GRP levels.
RESULTS: An increase of 1,000 quarterly Tips GRPs at the media market level was associated with increased odds of making a quit attempt in the past 3 months (adjusted odds ratio = 1.23, p < .001) and increased odds of intending to quit in the next 30 days (adjusted odds ratio = 1.17, p = .030).
DISCUSSION: Results suggest that CDC-recommended media buys of 800 to 1,000 GRPs per quarter are sufficient to generate statistically significant increases in the likelihood of quit attempts in the past quarter.
CONCLUSIONS: The Tips campaign has had a substantial impact on cessation behaviors among U.S. adult smokers over time. These data support the continued use of graphic and/or emotional media campaigns that encourage smokers to quit to further reduce tobacco use in the United States.