The role of social norms in the relationship between anti-smoking advertising campaigns and smoking cessation: a scoping review Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract A systematic scoping review of anti-smoking mass media campaign literature provided opportunity to explore how social normative theories and constructs are used to influence smoking cessation. Synthesis of findings was constrained by significant heterogeneity. Nevertheless, the results indicate that a broader conceptualization of social norm is worthy of further exploration. Perceptions of what others think and do contributed in multiple ways to the relationship between anti-smoking messaging and quitting outcomes. Furthermore, integrating research on social norms, social identity and communication may improve understanding of why quitting intentions are enhanced in some circumstances but reactance and counter-arguing responses corresponding to lower quitting intentions occur in others. Integrating a broader theoretical understanding of normative influences into campaign development and evaluation may prove useful in demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach in behaviour change campaigns.

publication date

  • June 1, 2020