Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Smoking and the search for quitting

April 29th, 2008 by

World Health Organization describes tobacco as epidemic & announced a new program MPOWER to increase smoking prevention efforts in the developing world. The global stats are mind-blowing.

  • There are more than one billion smokers in the world.
  • Globally, use of tobacco products is increasing, although it is decreasing in high-income countries. More than 80% of the world’s smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Almost half of the world’s children breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke.
  • Tobacco use kills 5.4 million people a year – an average of one person every six seconds – and accounts for one in 10 adult deaths worldwide.

2008 US Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reveals that 21% of Americans smoke. The likelihood of smoking generally increases as annual incomes decrease (exception occurs among those making less than $6,000 per year).
Gallup 2008: US sample.

Other findings from the survey:

1. Among US 23% of men and 19% of women smoke.
2. Blacks are the most likely to smoke (23%) and Asians are least likely to smoke (12%). Hispanics and whites fall in between, at 17% and 20%, respectively.

Comparative global surveys (2006-7) show that at the higher end – 50% of people in Turkey smoke, whereas at the low end, 6% in Nigeria smoke.

Going by ComScore reports in February 2008 Chantix,Pfizer’s smoking cessation treatment, was the top searched prescription brand generating more than 500,000 search queries in US.

Shire’s Adderall for ADHD and Pfizer’s 10 year old “blue pill” Viagra came in a close second and third on the list, respectively.Most Commonly Searched Prescription Brands US:

Brand Name Search queries (‘000)
Chantix 507
Adderall 469
Viagra 348
Ambien 334
Lexapro 274
Effexor 264
Cymbalta 235
Lyrica 233
Seroquel 198
Lipitor 181
Prozac 174
Cialis 120
Paxil 119
Crestor 119
Singulair 114

Source: comScore, Inc.

Again 5 of the 15 most frequently searched prescription brands were “depression” treatments. Those treatments included Lilly’s Cymbalta and Prozac, Wyeth’s Effexor, Forest’s Lexapro and GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil.

Interestingly, globally, the search term “depression” & “smoking” shows undulating pattern – it reaches zenith during first quarter of the year , hits a nadir during summer months & again peaks up in the subsequent quarter.

Is our “smoking” habits mostly “depression” related?

If you had a really hard time in checking your smoking habits – cheer up .Summer is approaching & so are less “depressing” months. Its achievable as Quit smoking is 13th most completed goal in 43 things…else you can always have “chantix”.

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2 Responses

  1. J Says:

    Hi, could you allow me to use your photo of the cigarette in a poster i am working on?

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