Impact on the Australian Quitline of new graphic cigarette pack warnings including the Quitline number
- 1The Cancer Council South Australia, Eastwood, South Australia, Australia
- 2Discipline of Public Health, School of Population Health and Clinical Practice, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
- 3The Cancer Council Victoria, Victoria, Australia
- 4Business School, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
- C Miller, The Cancer Council South Australia, PO Box 929, UNLEY BC SA 5061, Australia;
- Received 27 October 2008
- Accepted 29 January 2009
- Published Online First 11 February 2009
Background: In March 2006, Australia introduced graphic pictorial warnings on cigarette packets. For the first time, packs include the Quitline number.
Objective: To measure the combined effect of graphic cigarette pack warnings and printing the Quitline number on packs on calls to the Australian Quitline service.
Methods: Calls to the Australian Quitline were monitored over 4 years, 2 years before and after the new packets were introduced.
Results: There were twice as many calls to the Quitline in 2006 (the year of introduction), as there were in each of the preceding 2 years. The observed increase in calls exceeds that explained by the accompanying television advertising alone. While call volume tapered back in 2007, it remained at a level higher than before the introduction of new packets. No change was observed in the proportion of first time callers.
Conclusion: Introducing graphic cigarette packet warnings and the Quitline number on cigarette packets boosts demand for Quitline services, with likely flow on effects to cessation.
Funding: This study was funded by the Cancer Council South Australia.
Competing interests: None.