On target
: health information recall and effects in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers

  • Anna Kathleen Nicholson

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    Little is known about what works to reduce smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including about the effectiveness of advertising and information (advertising), news stories and warning labels. This thesis addresses this knowledge-gap with a series of eight papers from the Talking About the Smokes project; a national study of smoking and quitting among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people based on the International Tobacco Control policy evaluation project. In this thesis, I first consider the context of smoking and quitting, explore what attitudes and beliefs are most salient and influential, and describe past quit attempts and determinants of wanting to quit. I then investigate the reach and impact of advertising (mainstream and targeted), news stories and warning labels on quit attempts and related attitudes and beliefs.

    The principal findings were:

    1. Recall of advertising and warning labels (but not news stories) was high, and was prospectively associated with developing concern about the health effects of smoking and interest in quitting. These associations were stronger for recall of targeted and local advertising than for mainstream advertising.

    2. Warning labels appeared to contribute to knowledge about the health effects that had featured on packs.

    3. Most smokers (70%) wanted to quit smoking, knew the most harmful effects of smoking and held negative attitudes towards smoking.

    4. Concern for the health of others appeared to be more motivational than knowledge about direct harms of smoking.

    5. Although held by a minority (40%) of smokers, the belief that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders disapprove of smoking appeared more motivational than believing society disapproves of smoking.

    6. Even in the presence of strong motivation, most participants had never sustained a quit attempt one month or longer, particularly if they lacked employment, education, financial security, or were from a remote area.
    Date of AwardApr 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDavid Thomas (Supervisor), Ron Borland (Supervisor) & Matthew Stevens (Supervisor)

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