Introduction: Social media advertising could be effective in promoting smoking cessation. However, it's salience to Pacific youth in New Zealand who smoke is unknown.
Aim: To explore the views that 18–25 year old Pacific smokers have towards online smoking cessation advertising.
Methods: Twenty young Pacific smokers, aged 18–25 years, were recruited through indirect snowballing methods interviewed in focus groups by a female Pacific researcher. Questions centred on smoking cessation advice via social media and devices, preferences for advertisements, effective features and implications for internet banner and ad designs, positive versus negative framing, cultural cues and motivations. The general inductive approach was used to analyse the data for common themes.
Results: Smartphones were the most common device and Facebook the social media site most often used by participants. The informants recommended that the advertisements should have the following features: central position, eye-catching, bold imagery using simple language; endorsed by Pacific Island personalities; and positively framed messages to secure and maintain interest. The collective nature of Pacific cultures should be leveraged and testimonies from previous smokers used to strengthen motivation and dispel common myths around smoking.
Conclusion: There are potential opportunities for social media to be used as a platform to promote smoking cessation among Pacific young people.