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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. 1Center for Tobacco Studies, School of Public Health, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
  2. 2Division 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}rutgers.edu

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Introduction

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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