Characteristics of participants in a televised smoking cessation intervention

Richard B. Warnecke*, Brian R. Flay, Frederick J. Kviz, Charles L. Gruder, Patricia Langenberg, Kathleen S. Crittenden, Robin J. Mermelstein, Marlene Aitken, Siu Chi Wong, Thomas D. Cook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Participants in various components of a televised self-help smoking cessation program, based on the American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking in 20 Days, are compared with a sample of the population of smokers to whom the intervention was addressed. Over 325,000 smokers in the target population were exposed to the program at some level. Most watched televised segments. Approximately 75,000 manuals were distributed and about 55,000 were used. Comparisons between participants and the targeted smoking population indicate that the intervention attracted those in the smoking population who are expected to be the majority of smokers by the Year 2000-blacks, females, and those with incomes under $13,000 per year. Participants with these characteristics were most likely to view the televised segments. Heavy smokers, females, and those with the most education were most likely to refer to the manual at least twice a week during the intervention. Older, nonblack participants and those with incomes of $13,000 or more per year were most likely to attend group support sessions outside the home. Overall, the patterns of association indicate that although a televised smoking cessation program can attract individuals similar to those projected to be smokers in 2000, participation in various components of the intervention will vary by demographic characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-403
Number of pages15
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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