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WLF Calls For U.S. States to Increase Use of Mass Media Campaigns to Help Reduce Smoking Rates

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

(New York, USA) – Today, at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health, World Lung Foundation called on state health departments to use graphic, evidence-based mass media campaigns to reduce youth smoking and increase adult smoking cessation. World Lung Foundation experts also noted that the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of such campaigns are increased when proven ad campaigns are implemented. WLF also revealed the ads that have been most successful across a broad range of age groups in ten different countries.

Sandra Mullin, Senior Vice President, Policy and Communications, World Lung Foundation, who is speaking at the conference said: “We applaud the CDC for its hard hitting national anti-tobacco campaign and urge that more be done at the state level to impact behavior change. In 2008, the tobacco industry spent at least $10 billion on promoting cigarettes; this dwarfs states’ expenditures for health campaigns even though we know counter-marketing campaigns reduce youth and adult smoking.

Research conducted by World Lung Foundation indicates that the blunt, hard-hitting ads are effective irrespective of geography or culture of the target audience. Graphic, emotional ads have the greatest impact, and WLF research shows there is no need to develop separate creative approaches for adults and young people.. These ads, which may be licensed and adapted for local use, can be viewed on World Lung Foundation’s Mass Media Resource at

In 2007, the CDC recommended the use of counter-marketing as one of its “best practices” for tobacco control. Mass media campaigns are hypothesized to produce behavior change because exposure leads to awareness and, eventually, changes in tobacco-related beliefs, attitudes and intentions. WLF has worked with governments to implement over 80 campaigns in more than 20 countries.

More information about the use of mass media in tobacco control can be found at World Lung Foundation’s Mass Media Resource at

Ms. Mullin will be at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health, Kansas City, Missouri, which runs from August 15th - 17th. She will speak at and moderate the session entitled National Tobacco Education Campaigns: Leveraging Lessons Learned between 3:30 PM and 5:00 PM on Thursday, August 16th.

About World Lung Foundation

World Lung Foundation was established in response to the global epidemic of lung disease, which kills 10 million people each year. The organization also works on maternal and infant mortality reduction initiatives. WLF improves global health by improving local health capacity, by supporting operational research, by developing public policy and by delivering public education. The organization’s areas of emphasis are tobacco control, maternal and infant mortality prevention, tuberculosis, asthma, and child lung health. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact Jorge Alday, World Lung Foundation, at +1.212.639.0070 or

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