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Publication Detail
Evaluation of the impact of a regional educational advertising campaign on harm perceptions of e-cigarettes, prevalence of e-cigarette use, and quit attempts among smokers.
INTRODUCTION: We evaluated how effective an advertising campaign that was piloted by Cancer Research UK in January/February 2018 was at promoting quit attempts by increasing awareness of the relative harms of e-cigarettes compared with smoking. METHODS: Adults (≥16 years, n = 2217) living in Greater Manchester (campaign region) and Yorkshire & Humber and the North East of England (control regions) completed cross-sectional surveys immediately before and after the campaign period. Surveys measured socio-demographics, perceptions and use of e-cigarettes, and motivation and attempts to quit smoking. We tested interactions between time (pre, post) and region (campaign, control). RESULTS: 36.7% (95% CI 33.0%-40.6%) of those in the intervention region recognised the campaign. In the general population, interactions were non-significant for all outcomes except for perception of e-cigarettes as effective cessation aids, with smaller increases from pre- to post-campaign in the campaign (49.9% to 54.0%) compared with the control region (40.5% to 55.0%; OR = 0.66, 95% CI 0.45-0.98). Among smokers, motivation to quit increased in the intervention region (44.0% to 48.0%) but decreased in the control region (40.5% to 21.5%; OR = 2.97, 95% CI 1.25-7.16), with no other significant differences between regions over time. A Bayesian analysis confirmed that non-significant results were inconclusive. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with the control region, the campaign was associated with an increase in smokers' motivation to quit but a smaller increase in adults' perception of e-cigarettes as an effective cessation aid. There was insufficient evidence to determine whether the campaign affected other outcomes.
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