Association between Pictorial Health Warnings Increased to Eighty-Five Percent and Quitline Calls in Thailand

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Chessadaporn Harnprom Wanlop Jaidee Jintana Yunibhand Aronrag Cooper Meeyai

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the pictorial health warnings increased to 85% and the number of calls to Quitline. We used the Interrupted Time Series to analyze the weekly data from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2014 to check the number of calls made to Quitline weekly after changing seasonal trends and confounder variables (volume of news, cost of cigarettes, smoking prevalence). We found that calls made to Quitline increased when advertising pictorial health warnings increased to 85%. Of the total 759,318 incoming calls, 122,217 were for consultations concerning smoking cessation. We found that the number of the incoming calls before and after advertising the increased pictorial health warnings to 85% were not significant (p = 0.880). The correlations between the volume of news about cigarettes and the increased pictorial health warnings to 85% on newspaper with the number of calls to Quitline totaled 4 times (p = 0.006) and 14 times (p <0.001), respectively. In conclusion, the increased number of incoming calls to Quitline was not associated with the increased advertising of the pictorial health warnings to 85%. However, the impact of the news about tobacco could increase the use of Quitline. Therefore, the smoking cessation campaign using the newspaper medium remains one option to increase the number of people using Quitline.

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