Unique study looks at impact of point of sale marketing on smoking cessation

300 Omaha smokers needed for UNMC study with Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Omaha, Neb. – It can be hard to quit smoking. Most smokers will try 8 to 11 times before they successfully stop smoking.

Researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), Buffalo, N. Y., are examining the barriers created by retail tobacco marketing on smokers’ success in quitting tobacco.

Tobacco is one of the most heavily marketed products in the United States. The tobacco industry spends the largest proportion of its $12.5 billion marketing budget on point of sale (POS) promotions.

“The impact that the amount of POS marketing has on those who are trying to a quit smoking is unknown. This study will help to answer that question,” said Mohammad Siahpush, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for research at the UNMC College of Public Health.

The study will measure the amount of tobacco marketing in stores where users purchase tobacco and analyze its impact on their quit attempts. This is believed to be the first study in the United States to assess the effect of POS marketing on cessation behavior.

Researchers are still seeking an additional 300 current smokers who live in Omaha to participate in this study, which is funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Omaha residents who wish to participate in the study must be 18 years of age and older, have smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their life, currently smoke five or more cigarettes per day and have not previously applied for the study.

Smokers will be asked to participate in a 30-minnute telephone survey and in six months, a 10-minute follow-up telephone survey. Eligible participants will receive a small reimbursement for their time.

“One of the more innovative aspects of this study is that it will link tobacco marketing from the smokers’ neighborhood, using a geographic information system, to the participants’ survey information,” Dr. Siahpush said.

The study will help to determine how much influence marketing has on tobacco use including frequency of cravings to smoke, urges to buy cigarettes, and unplanned purchases of cigarettes which can lower the chances of making a quit attempt and successfully stopping tobacco use.

“This study is especially important, as it will help fill a gap in our knowledge of how tobacco marketing affects smoking cessation. This knowledge can be used by states and local communities as they establish their own local and regional tobacco control policies,” said Andrew Hyland, Ph.D., chair of the RPCI Department of Health Behavior.

For more information or to participate in the study, call the toll-free number at 1-855-600-6960.

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org. Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.

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Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)