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Impact of U.S. Antismoking TV Ads on Spanish-Language Quitline Calls

      Introduction

      Cigarette smoking is a major preventable cause of disease and death among U.S. Hispanics. Tobacco-cessation quitlines have been shown to increase quitting among Hispanics. However, the use of quitlines by this population remains low, especially among Spanish-speaking Hispanics. This study evaluates the promotion of 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (a quitline portal that routes callers to state-specific Spanish-language services) implemented as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's national Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®) campaign. Additionally, this study examines how media content impacted calls to 1-855-DÉJELO-YA.

      Methods

      Using National Cancer Institute data on calls to 1-855-DÉJELO-YA from February 2013 to December 2014, multivariate linear regressions were conducted of weekly area code–level call volume as a function of media market–level Gross Rating Points for Tips Spanish-language TV ads tagged with 1-855-DÉJELO-YA. The models were adjusted for covariates, including market-level population characteristics and state fixed effects. The data were analyzed from October 2017 through April 2018.

      Results

      Greater exposure to Tips Spanish-language ads was associated with increased calls to 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (p<0.001). On average, each additional 100 Tips Gross Rating Points per media market increased calls by 0.56 (95% CI=0.45, 0.67) calls/week/area code, representing ≅ 974 additional calls beyond the baseline. Media messages highlighting health consequences of smoking had a greater effect size than messages highlighting health effects of secondhand smoke.

      Conclusions

      A national Spanish-language quitline number could be a useful cessation resource for Spanish-speaking cigarette smokers. Opportunities exist to increase use of this number through a national Spanish-language media campaign, particularly by focusing campaign messages on the health consequences of smoking.
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