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Smoking Cessation Messages Focusing on Child Most Important

Parent smokers highly rank messages with outcomes focused on respiratory, general health, cancer

MONDAY, June 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Smoking cessation messages that emphasize the impact on children and with outcomes focused on respiratory health, cancer, or general health are ranked as most important by parent smokers, according to a study published online June 22 in Pediatrics.

Brian P. Jenssen, M.D., M.S.P.H., from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional discrete choice experiment in which parent smokers rated 26 messages designed to encourage them to begin cessation treatment. The messages varied based on who was featured (child, parent, or family), whether the message was framed as gain or loss, and the outcome included. Participants included 180 parent smokers attending primary care visits with their children.

The researchers found that cessation messages that emphasized the impact of smoking cessation on children versus parents or family were highly prioritized by parent smokers. The highest ranking was consistently seen for messages focusing on respiratory illness, cancer, or general health outcomes, while the lowest-ranked messages focused on the financial benefits of quitting. No meaningful influence on rankings was seen for gain versus loss framing.

“Future studies should be used to identify the best methods to deliver these messages to parent smokers, either through clinical practice or additional outreach approaches, and evaluate their impact on parent quit rates,” the authors write.

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