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Impact of the ‘Giving Cigarettes is Giving Harm’ campaign on knowledge and attitudes of Chinese smokers
  1. Li-Ling Huang1,
  2. James F Thrasher1,2,
  3. Yuan Jiang3,
  4. Qiang Li3,4,
  5. Geoffrey T Fong4,5,
  6. Yvette Chang6,
  7. Katrina M Walsemann1,
  8. Daniela B Friedman1
  1. 1Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
  2. 2Center for Population Health Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico
  3. 3National Tobacco Control Office, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China
  4. 4Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  6. 6World Lung Foundation, New York City, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Li-Ling Huang, Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 915 Greene Street, Room 524, Columbia, SC 29208, USA; huangl{at}


Objective To date there is limited published evidence on the efficacy of tobacco control mass media campaigns in China. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of a mass media campaign ‘Giving Cigarettes is Giving Harm’ (GCGH) on Chinese smokers’ knowledge of smoking-related harms and attitudes towards cigarette gifts.

Methods Population-based, representative data were analysed from a longitudinal cohort of 3709 adult smokers who participated in the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Survey conducted in six Chinese cities before and after the campaign. Logistic regression models were estimated to examine associations between campaign exposure and attitudes towards cigarette gifts measured postcampaign. Poisson regression models were estimated to assess the effects of campaign exposure on postcampaign knowledge, adjusting for precampaign knowledge.

Findings Fourteen percent (n=335) of participants recalled the campaign within the cities where the GCGH campaign was implemented. Participants in the intervention cities who recalled the campaign were more likely to disagree that cigarettes are good gifts (71% vs 58%, p<0.01) and had greater levels of campaign-targeted knowledge than those who did not recall the campaign (mean=1.97 vs 1.62, p<0.01). Disagreeing that cigarettes are good gifts was higher in intervention cities than in control cities. Changes in campaign-targeted knowledge were similar in both cities, perhaps due to a secular trend, low campaign recall or contamination issues.

Conclusions These findings suggest that the GCGH campaign increased knowledge of smoking harms, which could promote downstream cessation. This study provides evidence to support future campaign development to effectively fight the tobacco epidemic in China.

  • Low/Middle income country
  • Media
  • Social marketing
  • Prevention
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