ASH is calling for significantly more investment in mass media campaigns that encourage and support New Zealanders to be smokefree.
ASH considers that good mass media is a cornerstone of an effective tobacco control approach.
Evidence shows that high quality sustained and regularly refreshed mass media campaigns have a significant impact on quit rates and smoking prevalence. This includes promoting smokefree messages in a variety of ways including TV, print and outdoor advertising, online and social media, targeted mailers, and using mobile technology.
Good promotion is vital to trigger quit attempts and drive demand for stop smoking support.
However, the funding for mass media in New Zealand has been dramatically reduced in the last few years. It is currently around $2 million per annum, compared to over $9 million in 2010 when the government set the Smokefree 2025 goal.
We would like to see the funding for smokefree mass media increase to $11 million dollars per year, equivalent to the spend on alcohol campaigns. That’s less than 5 cents per smoker per day! The average smokers spends $8.40 in tax on cigarettes per day – so they more than pay for the increase!
In 2020, the Health Promotion Agency launched the Quit Strong campaign. We need more campaigns like this and with greater reach.