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Health communications interventions, including mass media campaigns designed to encourage tobacco users to quit or discourage youth from starting to smoke have been found to be an effective intervention to prevent and reduce tobacco use, according to the U.S. Surgeon General and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More information on health communications interventions and their effectiveness can be found in CDC's Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs – 2014.

Two agencies of the federal government ran mass media campaigns for part or all of 2019 that seek to discourage tobacco use among different populations:

  1. CDC's Tips from Former Smokers media campaign, which targets adults who use tobacco and
  2. FDA's Real Costs campaign, which targets youth ages 12 to 17 with tobacco prevention messages.

Both mass media campaigns will continue to run in 2020.

The federal mass media campaign grade criteria are based off the reach, duration and frequency of these mass media campaigns as well as if the campaign refers people to available services that can help them.

The Federal Mass Media campaign grade breaks down as follows:

Grade

Score

A

22 to 24 points

B

20 to 21 points

C

17 to 19 points

D

15 to 16 points

F

Under 15 points

Reach (3 points for each campaign, 6 points total)

Target: Advertising from each mass media campaign reaches 75 percent or more of its target audience each quarter the campaign is running.

  • +3 points: Ads reach 75 percent or more of target audience each quarter
  • +2 points: Ads reach 55-74 percent of target audience each quarter
  • +1 point: Ads reach 1-54 percent of target audience each quarter
  • +0 points: No ad campaign

Duration (3 points for each campaign, 6 points total)

Target: Each mass media campaign runs for 12 months of the year.

  • +3 points: Ads run 9-12 months per year
  • +2 points: Ads run 6-9 months per year
  • +1 point: Ads run 1-5 months per year
  • +0 points: No ad campaign

Frequency (3 points for each campaign, 6 points total)

Target: Each campaign has an average gross rating point of 1,200 for the 1st quarter the campaign is running and 800 or higher rating points for subsequent quarters.

  • +3 points: Average targeted rating point of 1,200 or higher for 1st quarter of campaign; average targeted rating point of 800 or higher for subsequent quarters
  • +2 points: Average targeted rating point of 1,000 or higher for 1st quarter of campaign; average targeted rating point of 600 or higher for subsequent quarters
  • +1 points: Average targeted rating point of 800 or higher for 1st quarter of campaign; average targeted rating point of 400 or higher for subsequent quarters
  • +0 points: No ad campaign

Promotion of Available Services (3 points for each campaign, 6 points total)

Target: Media campaign refers people to available resources that can help them.

  • +3 points: Media campaign refers people to available resources directly
  • +1 points:  Media campaign refers people to location where available resources can be accessed
  • +0 points: Campaign does not refer people to additional resources

Page last updated: March 22, 2020

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