Friday, April 12, 2013

Advertising promotes cessation from smoking and reduces cancer burden


The New York Times recently reported on “Gruesome advertising” (http://nyti.ms/12VLyJI) that the CDC campaign against tobacco is launching to bring more graphic advertising to media-based messaging. This set of messages will increase smoking cessation. Evidence from Australia shows a spike in calls to quit lines coinciding with eh introduction of graphic messaging. Every call to a quit line has a probably if supporting a smoker to quit these call should be celebrated.

Since 1990 the rate of lung cancer in men has decreased by one third. IN 1992 the peak Ling cancer mortality was over 90 cases per 1000,000 men. Today it is below 60 cases per 100,000. This is a huge public health success, as is the fact tat mo5er than 45 million men and women have quit smoking since the firs report form the Surgeon General linking smoking to lung cancer in 1964. This is a huge public health benefit that of course is not restricted to lung cancer but also translates to lower burden from other cancer caused by smoking, and to a substantial part of the halving of coronary heart disease that we have seen since 1980.

Below is the graphic showing the relation between advertising and calls to quit lines in Australia. The data are powerful and support longer use of the CDC messaging campaign to help smokers suit.

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