Objectives: To describe recall of anti-tobacco advertising (mainstream and targeted), pack warning labels, and news stories among a national sample of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers, and to assess the association of these messages with attitudes that support quitting, including wanting to quit.
Design, setting and participants: A quota sampling design was used to recruit participants from communities served by 34 Aboriginal community-controlled health services and one community in the Torres Strait. We surveyed 1643 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers from April 2012 to October 2013.
Main outcome measures: Frequency of recall of advertising and information, warning labels and news stories; recall of targeted and local advertising; attitudes about smoking and wanting to quit.
Results: More smokers recalled often noticing warning labels in the past month (65%) than recalled advertising and information (45%) or news stories (24%) in the past 6 months. When prompted, most (82%) recalled seeing a television advertisement. Just under half (48%) recalled advertising that featured an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person or artwork (targeted advertising), and 16% recalled targeted advertising from their community (local advertising). Frequent recall of warning labels, news stories and advertising was associated with worry about health and wanting to quit, but only frequent advertising recall was associated with believing that society disapproves of smoking. The magnitude of association with relevant attitudes and wanting to quit increased for targeted and local advertising.
Conclusions: Strategies to tackle Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking should sustain high levels of exposure to anti-tobacco advertising, news stories and warning labels. More targeted and local information may be particularly effective to influence relevant beliefs and subsequently increase quitting.