The key theme of Quit's major media campaign in 1992 was passive smoking - particularly the risks to children of inhaling other people's smoke. The campaign used television, radio and press advertisements, as well as a public-relations strategy, to promote the message. A new television advertisement was produced to inform people of the health risks to young children of exposure to tobacco smoke and to encourage them to declare their homes smokefree. The means to do this, a "smokefree home" sticker, was produced and made widely available.
Two telephone surveys were carried out to evaluate the campaign. The first survey, in early May, collected information about people's knowledge of passive smoking and their behaviour before the campaign. Another survey was conducted immediately after the conclusion of the media campaign. This survey repeated the questions on behaviour and knowledge and also included measures of awareness of the campaign and response to it. Unlike telephone surveys in other years, which have only included smokers and recent quitters, this survey also included non-smoking parents because the message of the campaign was clearly relevant to them as well.
This chapter is concerned only with public awareness of, and reactions to, the 1992 Quit advertising campaign, using data from the post-campaign survey only. Not all of the data from the post-campaign survey are reported here, the issues of behavioural change in response to the campaign and changes in knowledge and attitudes are considered in detail in Chapter 8 of this volume.
The method that was used, random telephone surveying, was identical to that used to evaluate previous campaigns and the results can be compared with those from 1989 (Borland and Naccarella, 1990), 1990 and 1991 (Mullins and Borland, 1992) and 1993 (see Chapter 7) of this volume).Chapter 8
The major aims of the post-campaign survey were:
The Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system was used to conduct the surveys. The CATI system uses randomly selected numbers from current computerised telephone directories which are entered onto the computer before interviewing commences. A telephone number then appears on the screen for the interviewer to call when they are ready. If the person is not available the interviewer enters the date and time to try again and the computer automatically presents the number to be called at the appropriate time. During the interview, the interviewer enters the response codes or types the answers to open-ended questions straight onto the computer.
The sample selection initially followed an identical procedure to that used in telephone surveys in previous years. The interviewer always asked to speak to the youngest smoker or recent quitter in the household. A "recent quitter" was defined as one who had quit during the year. For the purposes of this study, if the interviewer established that there was no smoker or recent quitter in the household, rather than terminating the interview he or she established whether there were any children aged 15 years or under living in the house. If there were, an interview was requested with the father of the children or, if he was not available, their mother.
This sampling procedure was used until the target of 220 non-smokers with children was reached. Only smokers and recent quitters were then interviewed, irrespective of whether or not they had children, until the target of 500 of them had been reached.
In the post-campaign survey interviews were carried out with 721 people. Of these, 220 (31%) were non-smokers living with children, 185 were smokers with children living in the house (26%) and 269 (37%) were smokers without children in the house. The remainder were recent quitters (n=47).
Fifty-three per cent of the smokers and recent quitters were men and 47% were women. For the non-smoking parents the pattern was reversed with 48% men and 52% women. Not surprisingly, the age breakdown of the two subsamples was quite different, with the vast majority of the non-smoking parents aged between 25 and 44 years old. In this group, only 2% were 24 years old or younger, 80% were aged between 25 and 44 years, and 17% were more than 45 years old. For the smokers and recent quitters, 21% were aged between 17 and 24 years, 54% were between 25 and 44 years old, and 25% were 45 years or older.
To test for the significance of relationships between variables, chi-square tests, t-tests and analyses of variance have been used. Details of statistical tests are not given in the text. Where relationships between variables are reported, the probability level of significance was less than 0.05, indicating a less than 1 in 20 probability that the finding is due solely to chance.
Respondents were asked how many cigarettes they smoked a day, and for the non-daily smokers the proviso "on the days that you smoke" was added. Nearly all (94%) of the smokers in the sample said they smoked every day of the week. Only 2% said that they smoked on one or two days, and the other 4% smoked on between three and six days each week. Of those who smoked every day, 24% smoked up to 10 cigarettes per day, 41% smoked between 11 and 20 and the rest smoked more than 20 per day. Of those who did not smoke daily, none smoked more than 20 cigarettes per day on the days they did smoke. Thirty-five per cent smoked less than five, 31% five to ten, and the rest smoked between 11 and 20.
Men smoked significantly more on average (20.1 per day) than women (17.8), and those under 30 (16.2) smoked significantly less than either the 30- to 49-year olds (20.3) or those over 50 (21.0). There were no significant differences by occupational category.
As a measure of how addicted respondents were to smoking, they were asked how soon after waking up they usually smoked their first cigarette. Looking only at those respondents who smoked every day, 54% smoked within an hour of waking up. If all respondents who smoked are included, 50% smoked within an hour.
When asked "Have you ever tried to give up smoking altogether?", 65% said they had tried. The household surveys usually indicate that about 80% of smokers have tried to quit. It is believed that this is due to differences in the wording of the question, with the term "altogether" used in the telephone survey but not in the household survey, rather than it reflecting a true difference in the quitting activity of the telephone and household survey samples (Borland, 1991).
Smokers with children were more likely to have tried to quit (72%) than those who did not have children (60%). The smokers who had tried to quit previously were far more likely to say they would try to quit in the next three months (51%), than those who had not tried to quit before (16%).
Smokers who had attempted to quit were then asked how many times they had tried to quit altogether. Table 1 presents this data for smokers with and without children.
|Total||With children||Without children|
|Two or three||27%||28%||26%|
|Four or more||21%||25%||18%|
The current smokers who had made an attempt to give up were asked, "How long ago did you begin your last attempt to quit smoking?".
|Total||With children||Without children|
|1 - 28 days||14%||11%||16%|
|1 - 3 months||11%||9%||14%|
|3+ to 12 months||29%||28%||29%|
|1+ to 5 years||32%||39%||27%|
|More than 5 years||12%||12%||12%|
It is interesting that, although more smokers with children had tried to quit, more of them also had made their quit attempts some time ago. Fifty-one per cent of the smokers with children had made their most recent attempt more than one year ago, compared with 39% of those who do not have children (CI of difference 0.7 to 23.3).
Current smokers were also asked about their intentions of quitting - specifically, how likely it was that they would make a quit attempt in the next three months. They had a seven-point scale, from "certain" to "definitely not", from which to choose a response. Overall, 39% said they were either "certain", "very likely" or "quite likely" to try to quit in the next three months, and 48% said they were "fairly unlikely", "very unlikely" or they "definitely would not" try. The others either said it was a 50/50 chance (10%), or were unable to say (2%).
To measure smokers' confidence in their ability to quit, they were asked "Assuming that you try to stop smoking, how likely is it that you'll be able to stop smoking permanently?". Nearly half the sample (42%) thought it was either "certain", "very likely" or "fairly likely" that they would be able to stop smoking permanently, 24% thought it was "fairly unlikely", "very unlikely" or they "definitely would not", 18% thought they had a 50/50 chance and 15% could not say.
There were 47 respondents who had given up smoking since the beginning of the year.
Nearly one-third of these (32%) had quit within the past two weeks - that is, during or immediately after the main campaign period. Another 28% had stopped for between two weeks and two months, and the remaining 40% had stopped for more than two months and up to six months ago. Interviews were not conducted with anyone who had stopped smoking more than six months previously.
Nineteen per cent of the recent quitters had never tried to stop smoking previously, and another 19% had previously lasted for only up to two weeks. About one-quarter (26%) had given up for between two weeks and six months, and the rest (36%) had stopped for at least six months. This means that many quitters had made a previous attempt to quit which was longer than their current attempt.
After the campaign, 95% of people said that they had "read, seen or heard" anti-smoking advertising during the year. The mostly frequently cited source was television (84%), followed by newspapers (46%), radio (30%), billboards (22%), magazines (22%) and public places (11%). No other location was mentioned by more than 10% of respondents but cigarette packets, pamphlets/brochures/t-shirts, doctors/hospitals, posters, work, and "at sporting events" were all mentioned by more than 5%.
Respondents were asked what the main things said or shown in the advertising were. In previous years respondents have typically responded with general anti-smoking messages to this question, giving responses which cannot be tied directly to any particular advertisement. In 1991, for example, the most frequently given response was "smoking is bad for health" (21%). However, in 1992 nearly a quarter (22%) reported that the message of the advertising was that "smoking harms children", 22% said that it was "don't smoke near children" and 5% said it was about the effects of passive smoking. This indicates that the "take-home" message from the advertising was a strong one.
In addition to these passive smoking specific messages, other frequently recalled messages were: "smoking is bad for you" (15%); what smoking can do to your lungs (9%); quit smoking or don't smoke (7%); and "quit", without giving enough information to know if this referred to the organisation or was an instruction (6%).
When asked, "What action, if any, did you personally take as a result of the anti-smoking advertising campaign?", 40% of respondents said they had done something. The most frequent action by the non-smoking parents was to "put up a no-smoking sticker" (9%) - probably the Smokefree Home sticker which was available through the campaign. Other responses from this group were to discuss smoking (6%), ban or discourage smoking in the house (5%), try to help someone else give up (5%) or suggest someone else give up (5%). As would be expected, the smokers and recent quitters responded differently. Less than 1% had put up a sticker, but 10% had thought about giving up, 4% had given up, 5% had tried to give up and 5% had tried to cut down.
To assess changes in quitting intentions before and after the campaign, smokers were asked, "Compared to one month ago, are you more or less likely to quit smoking or do you feel the same?". The majority of smokers (58%) said they felt the same way about smoking, but slightly more than one-third (35%) said they were more likely to quit. Very few (7%) said they were now less likely to quit.
Respondents were asked, "Apart from advertising about smoking, in the last two weeks have you read any articles or seen or heard any programs about smoking?". Overall, 26% of respondents said they had read, seen or heard something, and there was no difference in the level of recall of smokers/recent quitters and of non-smoking parents. When asked, "In which TV or radio programs, magazines or newspapers did you read see or hear those articles or programs?", respondents gave a wide variety of responses. Nine per cent of respondents named television, including those who mentioned television advertisements, specific television channels or specific programs. Newspapers in general, or the Herald-Sun or the Age specifically, were mentioned by 5%, radio was mentioned by nearly 3% (half of these were specifically for 3AW) and magazines were mentioned by 2%.
Respondents were then asked "What did those articles or programs say or show about smoking?". Shortly before Quit Week there had been a ruling in a NSW District Court that a former Health Department employee, Mrs Leisel Scholem, had been adversely affected by cigarette smoke while at work. The Department was found to be negligent, and damages of over $80,000 were awarded. This case generated a great deal of media coverage, and it was expected that it would be recalled by a large number of respondents but only 2% actually mentioned it.
Respondents were generally vague about the things they had seen or heard in articles or programs, but 7% said that smoking harms children and 6% said that smoking is bad for health or kills. Two per cent said the articles or programs had been about the dangers of passive smoking. There was no other topic that at least 2% of respondents could recall seeing.
In the campaign period in 1992, two television advertisements were broadcast. The first of these, Excuses, was produced in 1991 to counteract some of the excuses people use to continue smoking. It features a man in a lounge chair giving excuses for not stopping smoking, such as "I'll put on weight". All his excuses are answered by a voice-over and words on the screen counteracting his arguments with the facts.
The second advertisement, Whose Habit, was produced in 1992. It features a man reading to his wife from the Quit brochure, Passive smoking and your children, about the effects of passive smoking on children. As he realises the effect he may be having on his children, he says that even if he can't give up smoking immediately, he won't smoke around them any more. He then puts up the Smokefree Home sticker to say the house is smokefree.
Both the brochure Passive smoking and your children and the Smokefree Home sticker were available from Quit, and the sticker was also available in the Sunday Herald-Sun one day during the campaign.
Each advertisement was described briefly to the respondents and they were asked if they had seen it. If they had, they were then asked whether they had found the advertisement "thought-provoking", "believable", "relevant to you" and (if appropriate) "encouraged to quit". For each of these measures, respondents had the option of "very", "somewhat" or "not at all". Table 3 presents data on the recall and reactions to the two advertisements for non-smoking parents, smokers with children and smokers without children.
|children||children||no children||children||children||no children|
|% recalling advertisement||62%||72%||65%||82%||86%||83%|
Percentage of those who had seen the advertisement reporting it as "very" or "somewhat"...
|Relevant to you||32%||75%||66%||53%||81%||43%|
|Encouraged to quit||-||41%||30%||-||48%||25%|
The Excuses advertisement had been seen by 66% of people overall. More smokers with children (72%) had seen it than non-smokers with children (62%). Despite the fact that the advertisement was not directed at non-smoking parents, those who had seen it rated it highly as thought provoking and believable, and one-third said it was "relevant to them". The fact that so many people indicated that the advertisement was relevant to them, when it clearly was not, may indicate that people have a tendency to agree with the statements without really considering them, or that they interpret "relevance" rather broadly.
The percentage of respondents recalling Whose Habit was very high, with 83% of respondents overall saying they had seen it. There was no difference in the proportion of respondents from different groups who were aware of the television advertisement. The response to the advertisement was extremely positive, and it was rated highly for being thought provoking and believable. Fewer smokers without children rated it as thought provoking (78%) than non-smoking parents (90%). The non-smoking parents were most likely to believe the information (92%). Not surprisingly, the smokers with children were the group most likely to rate the advertisement as relevant (81%), but more than half the non-smokers with children also thought that it was "relevant to them" (53%). These findings suggest that the Whose Habit advertisement was very effective in reaching its target audience.
There were four new radio advertisements produced for this campaign. Three of these were on the Excuses theme and one was on the passive smoking theme, emphasising the risks to children. When asked if they had heard any Quit smoking advertising on the radio in the last few weeks, 32% of respondents said they had. Smokers and non-smoking parents were equally likely to have heard the radio advertisements.
The newspaper advertising was based around the Smokefree Home sticker. The caption read "Want to stop visitors smoking in your home? Put one of these on your front door and breathe easy". In the Herald-Sun, the advertisement promoted the Smokefree Home sticker which was inserted into the paper. In the Age, a coupon was provided to order a Smokefree Home sign. In addition, a variety of small advertisements inviting people to call the 0055 telephone number were printed in both the Herald-Sun and the Age. Overall, 37% of respondents said they had seen newspaper advertising about the Quit Campaign or Quit Week in the last few weeks.
Smokers and recent quitters were asked a general question about whether the Quit Campaign had any effect on the way they thought or felt about their smoking and 49% said the campaign had made a difference to them. More smokers with children thought the campaign had had an effect on them (54%), than those without children (44%). Those who agreed that smoking could cause illnesses or health problems were more likely to agree that the campaign had made a difference to them (57%) than those who said there were no illnesses caused by smoking (30%). It is impossible to say on the basis of this data alone whether a pre-existing belief in the harm of smoking makes them more receptive to the Quit Campaign, or whether the campaign had influenced their beliefs about smoking.
The respondents who said the campaign had had an effect on them were asked three questions about the specific effect. First, they were asked whether it had increased the likelihood of them quitting. Then they were asked, "Did it make you less likely to smoke around non-smokers?" and finally, "Did it make you less likely to smoke around children?".
Of those who said the campaign had an effect, 82% said it had increased their chances of quitting, and 16% said that it had not. This meant 38% of smokers overall thought they were more likely to quit as a result of the campaign: 45% of those with children, and 34% of those without.
When asked about behaviour around non-smokers, nearly three-quarters (73%) of the smokers who said the campaign had an effect said it had made them less likely to smoke around non-smokers. This was 35% of smokers overall: 39% of the smokers with children and 32% of those without.
More of the smokers who said there had been an effect said they were now less likely to smoke around children (84%). This was 40% of smokers overall: 46% of those with children and 36% of those without.
In 1992, Quit's media campaign focused on the risks of passive smoking to children. A new television advertisement was produced around this theme and was televised in conjunction with one developed in 1991 on the theme of excuses for not quitting.
A very high proportion of respondents (95%) said they had been aware of anti-smoking advertising during the year, and television was the most frequently cited source. An unusually high proportion of respondents were able to identify the main message of the advertisements in a way which made it clear that they had seen and could recall the passive smoking advertisements. Nine per cent of the non-smoking parents said they had responded to the advertisements by placing a smokefree home sticker on their home.
Recall of the Whose Habit advertisement was very high, with more than four out of five respondents saying they had seen it. Reactions to it were also very positive, and smokers with children were particularly likely to regard it as relevant. Fewer people could recall seeing Excuses, and it was considered to be less thought-provoking than Whose Habit. Smokers who did not have children regarded Excuses as more relevant to them than Whose Habit. The fact that 32% of non-smoking parents found Excuses to be relevant to them is of concern, as it casts doubt on how carefully respondents actually think about their responses to the question, or how they interpret the question.
Few people could recall anything about smoking in the media - apart from advertisements. This was unexpected, given the large amount of media generated by the Leisel Scholem case just before the campaign.
Overall, awareness of the campaign was very high, and people responded well to it. Non-smoking parents in particular found the topic thought-provoking, and some acted immediately to make their homes smokefree. Smokers, especially those who live with children, reported being positively affected in that many said they were now less likely to smoke around non-smokers (including children). These claims of behaviour change are not really supported by other data from the campaign (see Chapter8), but may reflect an intention or belief in future change. Some also reported being more likely to quit and a few may even have quit as a result of the campaign.
Borland R. Effects of time and mode of surveying on responding to questions about smoking and reactions to the Quit anti-smoking campaign. Chapter 3 in Quit Evaluation Studies No. 5 1991; Melbourne: VSHP.
Borland R, Naccarella L. Reactions to the 1989 Quit Campaign: Results from two telephone surveys. Chapter 3 in Quit Evaluation Studies No. 5 1991; Melbourne: VSHP.
Mullins R, Borland R. Smokers' responses to the 1990 and 1991 Quit Campaigns: Results from two telephone surveys. Chapter 2 in Quit Evaluation Studies No. 6 1992; Melbourne: VSHP.