Mass media campaigns can play an important role in strengthening support for smoke-free policies and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS). Identifying anti-SHS advertisements that are effective in diverse cultural contexts may allow for resource sharing in low- and middle-income countries. A convenience sample of 481 male cigarette smokers and non-smokers in three high tobacco burden and culturally dissimilar countries (India, China and Russia) viewed and rated five anti-SHS ads. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted for ‘Message Acceptance’, ‘Negative Emotion’, ‘Perceived Effectiveness’ and ‘Behavioral Intentions’. Smokers and non-smokers in all countries consistently rated the strong graphic, health harm ads as the most effective, and the ‘informational’ ad as the least effective overall: the graphic ad ‘Baby Alive’ was at least 1.8 times more likely than the informational ad ‘Smoke-free works’ to receive positive ratings on all four outcomes (all P < 0.001). Graphic, health harm messages about SHS exposure have the greatest universal appeal and are the most effective in motivating changes in behavioral intentions. Similarity in reactions between smokers and non-smokers, and across countries, suggests that resource sharing and the use of a single graphic ad targeted at smokers and non-smokers would be cost-efficient strategies.
Murukutla N, Bayly M, Mullin S, Cotter T, Wakefield M. Male smoker and non-smoker responses to television advertisements on the harms of secondhand smoke in China, India and Russia. Health education research. 2014.