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Evaluating receipt of and inability to discontinue tobacco industry direct mail
  1. M Jane Lewis1,
  2. Mia Hanos Zimmermann1,
  3. Cristine D Delnevo1,
  4. Michael B Steinberg2
  1. 1 Center for Tobacco Studies, School of Public Health, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
  2. 2 Division of General Internal Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr. Michael B Steinberg, Division of General Internal Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08901, USA; michael.steinberg{at}

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Direct mail (DM) from the tobacco industry delivers branded advertisements, cost-saving coupons and even gifts to consumers who have opted-in to the brand’s system. In New Jersey, one in three adult smokers in 2001 received DM, with current smokers 4.5 times more likely than never/former smokers to receive DM.1 A more recent national survey found that 25% of smokers aged 18–34 years old received DM.2 Consumers can register for DM easily on a brand’s website, through toll-free phone or by attending a brand-sponsored event. Once registered, they receive targeted mailings designed to encourage product trial, increase consumption, build relationships with customers and reinforce brand image.3 Other studies have documented DM’s receipt by smokers and influence on smoking behaviours, including initiation …

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  • Contributors MJL, MHZ, CDD and MBS contributed to concept/design, data analysis/interpretation, drafting the article, critical revision of the article and approval of the article.

  • Funding This study was funded by a pilot grant (P30CA072720) from Rutgers University, Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Detail has been removed from this case description/these case descriptions to ensure anonymity. The editors and reviewers have seen the detailed information available and are satisfied that the information backs up the case the authors are making.

  • Ethics approval Rutgers University IRB.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Data from this study are available for sharing with permission from the investigators.