The Vietnam Women's Union Testimonial Campaign - “Women create smoke-free homes”
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Vital Strategies, Policy, Advocacy and Communication, Australia
Vietnam Women's Union, Viet Nam
Danson Media, Viet Nam
Vital Strategies, Policy, Advocacy and Communication, Viet Nam
Vital Strategies, Policy, Advocacy and Communication, United States of America
Vital Strategies, Policy, Advocacy and Communication, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A358
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Almost 16 million Vietnamese adults currently smoke tobacco, including 45.3% of men and 1.1% of women. In Vietnam more women die from tobacco-related disease (9.5%) than smoke cigarettes, suggesting that women suffer disproportionately greater illness and premature death from exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS).

Intervention or response:
The Vietnam Women's Union developed the “Women create smoke-free homes” national initiative to help protect women and children from exposure to SHS throughout Vietnam. Supported by Vital Strategies and Danson Media, a campaign was designed for the initiative, featuring the personal story of a 41 year-old, non-smoking victim of lung cancer, Ms Nguyen Thi Huong, with a call to action to “Protect yourselves and your loved ones”. Pre-testing research was conducted on initial testimonial edits to strengthen communication of Ms Huong's story. The resulting three 30-second ads were launched by the Women´s Union and disseminated from December 2016 to February 2017 through Facebook, with accompanying Facebook posts, radio spots and public relations activities in print, online, radio and television media.

Results and lessons learnt:
The testimonial ads received 4,152,937 views, with Facebook comments mostly from women tagging male partners. A national tobacco campaign evaluation study (n=2022) found 8% of respondents, including 10% of female non-smoker respondents, recalled the testimonial ads unprompted (representing approximately 4.75 million people aged 15-55 years). Of these, 74% of female non-smokers (and 75% of male smokers) reported trying to make their home 'smokefree' and 77% reported trying to persuade others to quit smoking as a result of seeing the ads, while 67% of male smokers reported making a quit attempt after seeing the ads.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
The campaign demonstrates effectiveness of a national Women's Organization communicating personal stories of tobacco-related harm to women. This supports previous evidence of the power of testimonial approaches and points to further potential opportunities for tobacco control communication in Vietnam and other countries.

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