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Formative Research and Evaluation for an Anti-Tobacco Campaign


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) 2012 Tips from Former Smokers anti-smoking campaign was the first-ever paid national tobacco education campaign. Aimed at current smokers with the goal of increasing quitting behaviors, Tips incorporated TV broadcast, radio, billboard and social media along with digital advertising. The innovative campaign profiled real people who are living with serious long-term health effects from smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. Based on the documented success of the previous effort, CDC is planning a new Tips campaign, scheduled to launch in 2018. CDC has contracted with Battelle to perform formative research for this next iteration of Tips.


Battelle researchers are conducting a literature review and environmental scan to evaluate emerging issues in tobacco user behavior (e.g. e-cigarette use, other alternative delivery mechanisms, and changing consumer attitudes and behaviors). The Battelle team is working with a national advertising agency to develop the key messages based on the formative research. They will then conduct formative evaluation and rough cut testing to determine which messages are most effective for the intended audience.


Results of the formative research will allow CDC to craft more effective messages for the next stage of the Tips campaign. Formative research allows CDC to get the most for their advertising budget by ensuring that the messages produced will have maximum impact on their target population.

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