The Use of the Major Components of Social Marketing: A Systematic Review of Tobacco Cessation Programs

Ra’d Almestahiri, Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, Joy Parkinson, Denni Arli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This study provides a qualitative systematic review of social marketing tobacco cessation programs identify the extent to which seven major components of social marketing are used in social marketing programs targeting tobacco cessation and to classify them according to social marketing stream: downstream midstream or upstream. Sixteen databases were examined to identify studies reporting the use of social marketing to address cigarette smoking cessation. Fourteen empirical studies were classified. Only one of 14 interventions used all seven of the major components of social marketing. The review identified that downstream (n = 11) interventions remain the dominant focus in social marketing interventions targeting tobacco, despite calls for social marketers to move upstream during this time. The current review was restricted to studies that self-identified as social marketing and studies published in peer-reviewed journals in the English language which is limiting. This study included all empirical studies published from 2002 to January, 2016; however only using published studies may bias results. The results indicate that social marketing interventions targeting tobacco cessation can be successful even when some of seven distinguishing and mutually exclusive features of social marketing are applied. This article presents the first attempt to review the extent that social marketing principles are used in interventions targeting tobacco intake cessation and to classify social marketing interventions into social marketing streams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-248
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Marketing Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.


  • cessation
  • social marketing
  • systematic review


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