Protocol - Aided and Confirmed Awareness of Televised Anti-tobacco Advertisements

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This protocol includes two questions from Sly et al. (2001) and Niederdeppe (2005). Questions assess whether or not a respondent has seen any televised anti-tobacco/anti-smoking advertisements; if so, the respondent is asked to describe the advertisement. In assessing aided awareness, respondents confirm whether they have seen the advertisement; in assessing confirmed awareness, respondents provide additional details about the advertisement.

Specific Instructions:

Aided awareness is based on the first item only (item #1 below). If participants report "Yes" to having seen the advertisement, they are considered to have aided awareness; if they report "no," they are considered not to have aided awareness. For those who report having aided awareness, they are further asked the second item (item #2 below)-"what happens in the ad." In general, correct response categories should be identified for this open-ended item, but should not be provided to the respondent. Responses should be coded as correct if they correspond to the identified response categories.

Items that provide a brief description of advertisements or screenshots are based on the specific advertisements that are being assessed. The purpose is to provide some level of information to prompt accurate recall or recognition of the ad. Correct responses for question 2 will be based on the specific advertisements being assessed.

The WG acknowledges that these questions may also be used for advertisements that are aired online or other channels of media delivery, such as radio or billboard advertisements.

Media utilization patterns should also be assessed to determine potential likelihood of exposure to messages.

In addition, the WG recommends that investigators consider clearly defining "tobacco products" by noting whether that definition includes or excludes certain types of related products based on these criteria: products that are intended for human consumption; made or derived from tobacco; typically contain nicotine, but sometimes do not; and are not Food and Drug Administration-approved tobacco-cessation products.


1. Have you recently seen an anti-smoking or anti-tobacco ad on TV that shows … [provide either brief verbal, text or visual (screenshot or video)]?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

2. What happens in this advertisement?

Protocol Name from Source:



Personnel and Training Required


Equipment Needs


Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Self-administered or interviewer-administered questionnaire

Life Stage:

Child, Adolescent, Adult


Adults and youth (12-17 years of age)

Selection Rationale

Confirmed awareness is generally considered to be a superior measure of a campaign or message. However, when resources or data collection modality do not allow assessment of confirmed awareness, aided awareness is a reasonable alternative, as there is evidence for its validity.



Common Data Elements (CDE) Tobacco Use Anti-Tobacco Advertisement Awareness Assessment Text 4884837 CDE Browser
Derived Variables


Process and Review

Not applicable.


Sly, D., Heald, G., & Ray, S. (2001). The Florida "truth" anti-tobacco media evaluation: Design, first-year results, and implications for planning future state media evaluations. Tobacco Control, 10, 9-15.

Niederdeppe, J. (2005). Assessing the validity of confirmed ad recall measures for public health communication campaign evaluation. Journal of Health Communication, 10(7), 635-650. doi:10.1080/10810730500267662

General References

Davis, K. C., Nonnemaker, J. M., & Farrelly, M. C. (2007). Association between national smoking prevention campaigns and perceived smoking prevalence among youth in the United States. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(5), 430-436.

Farrelly, M. C., Healton, C. G., Davis, K. C., Messeri, P., Hersey, J. C., & Haviland, M. L. (2002). Getting to the truth: Evaluating national tobacco countermarketing campaigns. American Journal of Public Health, 92, 901-907.

McAfee, T., Davis, K. C., Alexander, R. L., Pechacek, T., & Bunnell, R. (2013). Effect of the first federally funded US antismoking national media campaign. Lancet, 38, 2003-2011.

Vallone, D. M., Duke, J., Cullen, J., McCausland, K. L., & Allen, J. (2011). Evaluation of EX: A national mass media smoking cessation campaign. American Journal of Public Health, 101(2), 302-309.

Protocol ID:


Export Variables
Variable Name Variable IDVariable DescriptiondbGaP Mapping
PX750101010000 Have you recently seen an anti-smoking or more
anti-tobacco ad on TV that shows … [provide either brief verbal, text or visual (screenshot or video)]? show less
PX750101020000 What happens in this advertisement? N/A
Tobacco Regulatory Research
Measure Name:

Aided and Confirmed Awareness of Televised Anti-tobacco Advertisements

Release Date:

June 24, 2015


This measure assesses a respondent’s confirmed and aided awareness of anti-tobacco advertisements on television.


The purpose of this measure is to evaluate respondents’ exposure to and awareness of specific anti-tobacco advertisements on television.


Confirmed awareness, aided awareness, anti-tobacco, advertisement, anti-smoking, media, recall, television, mass media, campaign, radio, billboards