Appendix D: Gaps in the evidence
PHIAC identified a number of gaps in the evidence relating to the interventions under examination, based on an assessment of the evidence. These gaps are set out below.
1. There is a lack of empirical evidence on whether or not mass-media interventions prevent – or simply delay – the uptake of smoking among children and young people.
2. There is a lack of UK-based studies on the influence of mass-media interventions on the uptake of smoking.
3. There is a lack of UK-based evidence on factors that influence the effectiveness of mass-media interventions such as the sociodemographic characteristics of the target audience.
4. There is a lack of evidence on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of using new media to help prevent the uptake of smoking by children and young people.
5. There is a lack of UK-based evidence on facilitators and barriers to implementing mass-media interventions.
6. There is a lack of UK-based evidence on how a reduction in illegal tobacco sales affects children and young people's knowledge, attitudes and, most importantly, their behaviour in relation to smoking.
7. No studies were identified that compared the effectiveness of different approaches to reducing illegal tobacco sales.
8. There is limited evidence on the factors that influence the effectiveness of interventions to reduce illegal tobacco sales (for example, site, setting, intensity, provider and sociodemographic background of recipients).
9. There is a lack of evidence on whether access restrictions shift the way tobacco is purchased to other sources (including illicit activities).
10. There is a lack of evidence on the factors that support implementation of interventions to reduce illegal tobacco sales.
11. There is a lack of evidence on the volume of cigarettes that children and young people aged under 18 are getting from smuggled and other illegal sources.
12. There is a lack of evidence on how mass-media and point-of-sales interventions affect the prevalence of smoking among different socioeconomic groups and, hence, how they impact on health inequalities.
The Committee made 5 recommendations for research. These are listed in section 5.