Education through anti-smoking media via television, radio, or billboards, magazines, and newspapers, has greatly increased the chances of current smokers quitting, according to a new report released by the CDC in honor of World No Tobacco Day today.

The finding was included as part of this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and was found to be true in 14 out of 17 countries studied.

The CDC examined data from 17 countries that took part in the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). They looked at the relationship between awareness of antismoking messages and intent on smoking cessation.

Odds ratios were adjusted for demographic characteristics, awareness of tobacco ads, and awareness of warning labels on cigarette packages.

Results showed that in nine of 17 nations, intent to quit was greatly linked to awareness of antismoking messages in a single media channel compared with no awareness. In 14 nations, intent to quit was notably linked to awareness of messages in multiple channels compared to no awareness.

Antismoking messages in mass media channels can aid in the reduction of tobacco intake by urging smokers to think about quitting and could be more effective in more than one channel.

Of the total 265,564 participants, 50,209 of them reported they were current smokers. In all nations, these participants picked up on antismoking information during the last 30 days in all four of the media channels.

Over half of the subjects noticed antismoking campaigns in at least one of the four media channels in all nations. Additionally, more picked up on antismoking messages from television than any other type of media channel.

Among participants, 10,439 said they planned to quit. Other significant findings included:

  • In five of 17 nations the participants intending to quit were >30%
  • The number of subjects who noticed a warning label in the last 30 days was high in all nations, ranging from 70.7% in India to 97.9% in Romania
  • Wide variance was seen in the percentage of subjects who noticed any type of pro tobacco marketing in the last 30 days with 0% in three countries (Egypt, Thailand, and Vietnam) and 87.3% in Indonesia.

Efforts like the CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers, tobacco education ad campaigns are necessary to counter the $1 million an hour that is used on pro tobacco marketing in the U.S.

The Tips campaign has triggered a considerable jump in calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a quit-line number, as well as visits to the CDC’s website. Both provide smokers free help for quitting.

Written by Kelly Fitzgerald