Quitting tobacco awareness social media campaign: Health promotion interventions should be focused on young females
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Sapienza Università di Roma, Rome, Italy
Publication date: 2021-12-10
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2021;7(Supplement):60
“Commit to quit” is the theme of the WHO World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2021. On this day, the Tobaccology Unit of Sapienza University of Rome, Italy (UNITAB) organized an awareness campaign for quitting tobacco smoking, in collaboration with the students' association “Sapienza in Movimento”.

Main aims were: to increase the number of students interested in quitting tobacco smoking, giving them the chance to be helped for free by UNITAB and to inform students through social media on the dangers of tobacco and new tobacco products (HTPs and e-cigarettes) and on how Big Tobacco targets young people to gain new clients.

On Instagram short videos, infographics on tobacco side effects and online quitting support services by WHO were shared. Contents were developed around the idea of “did you know…?”, using catchphrases to deliver little known information. We created a Google form survey to collect smoking habits of the sample.

We collected 157 answers to the questionnaire: 56.7% of the respondents are female. Half of the sample (49%) is a smoker/former smoker: 54,5% female, 45,5% male. The increase of female smokers could be a result of marketing strategy by Big Tobacco, using products (such as HTPs) more appealing in terms of fashion characteristics (pink colours or diamond parts). This assumption is reinforced by the results of HTPs use in the female sample, 59.1% (vs. 31.9% in males).

These preliminary data show that women are becoming more influenced by the tobacco epidemic, turning upside down the classic duo man-smoker.
Our goal for the future is to collect more information about this growing trend, to raise awareness on the dangers of smoking and to contrast the Big Tobacco attempt of getting new clients targeting youngsters and particularly women on social media.

No Conflicts of Interest were reported.
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