Impact of Anti-Smoking Messaging

by Jenny Novac on September 17, 2014

Smoking Man

A new study demonstrates that anti-smoking messaging works differently on different people. Last years in the USA there was discussed the subject of placing graphic images of long-term smoking effects on cigarettes packs. Yeah, the talk is about cancerous lungs and rotten teeth. Specialists claimed that large horrible images on cigarettes packs will have a huge impact on smokers and they will eventually quit.

However, a recent study published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research shows that graphic images do not work equally on everyone. The success of anti-smoking messaging depends on the attitude smoker has on the habit.

The study was made by Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and there were examined 740 smokers for it. The researchers wanted to know what kind of anti-smoking messages worked best on these smokers. There was found that messages talking about the benefits of quitting such as “quitting smoking reduces the risk of death due to tobacco,” had a greater success over those who thought that quitting would be difficult. Message “smoking can kill you” worked better for smokers who had a greater desire to quit.

The researchers explain that motivating messaging worked better on smokers who accepeted quitting as a challenge and they were informed enough about smoking effects on the body. The negative message worked better for smokers who wanted to refuse totally from cigarettes and the ads created a motivation to stop.

The researchers concluded that the better way to touch different kinds of smokers is to use different kinds of messages in the course of anti-smoking campaign.

The campaign “Tips From Former Smokers” launched by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had a great success. It featured former smokers who told about the smoking effects on their bodies. During these campaigns there was reported an increase by 80% of people using quit lines.

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