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Centre for Behavioural
Research in Cancer

Pre-testing of tobacco control advertisements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult smokers

This project aimed to assess the comprehension, acceptability, and potential effectiveness of specific television advertisements communicating anti-smoking messages among Indigenous people compared with non-indigenous South Australians. A total of 143 Indigenous and a comparison group of 156 non-Indigenous smokers from South Australia were shown 10 anti-smoking advertisements representing a range of advertisements typically aired in Australia. On average, Indigenous people rated the mainstream advertisements higher than non-Indigenous people and were more likely to report that they provided new information. Advertisements with strong graphic imagery depicting the health effects of smoking were rated highest by Indigenous smokers. Advertisements featuring real people describing the serious health consequences of smoking received mixed responses. Those featuring an ill person were rated higher by Indigenous people than those featuring the family of the person affected by a smoking-related disease. With limited Indigenous-specific messages available and given the finite resources of most public health campaigns, exposure to mainstream strong graphic and emotive first-person narratives about the health effects of smoking are likely to be highly motivating for Indigenous smokers.

CBRC staff

A/Prof Sarah Durkin, Prof Melanie Wakefield, Megan Bayly, Charles Warne


Harold Stewart (Aboriginal Council of South Australia), Jackie Bowden, Greg Sharplin and Dr Caroline Miller (Cancer Council South Australia)


Cancer Council South Australia, Cancer Council Victoria


2010 - 2011