Skip to comments.Study Finds Anti-Smoking Ads May Backfire
Posted on 08/23/2011 4:57:35 PM PDT by nickcarraway
The intent is to shock smokers into quitting
The intent of the anti-smoking ads is to shock smokers into quitting. One ad shows fatty deposits oozing out of a 32-year-old dead smoker's aorta.
"Every cigarette is doing you damage proclaims the announcer at the end of the ad.
They are definitely memorable, but are these ads simply turning smokers off?
Vanessa Vargas of Pembroke Pines has never smoked, but her husband does.
Theyre disgusting and hideous. He wont change because of them. He just changes the channel. He thinks theyre gross, she said of the ads.
Researchers at the University of Missouri studied the effects of these anti-smoking ads and found their scare tactics might actually backfire. The research was published in the Journal of Media Psychology.
Forty-nine participants were shown the ads and their emotional responses were measured. When they contained disturbing and threatening messages they had a defensive response, causing the smoker to avoid the image but not cigarettes.
Ed Gornik has smoked for 19 years and has tried unsuccessfully to quit.
He said he finds the ads annoying.
"Because I think if you pay attention to them and listen it kind of makes you think 'Really, is it propaganda?' I turn them off. I honestly do," he said.
In Connecticut they frequently run anti-smoking ads with the smoker have a metal chimney cap on their head while doing daily task to try to get you to stop. I fast forward thru them or ignore it, and I don’t smoke.
The anti-smoking campaign has been a comedy of errors from the beginning. They should have been looking for safer alternatives from day 1; trying to demonize nicotine alone, while ignoring the role that other chemicals play in creating the addiction; trying to play one-upmanship it tying smoking to diseases where smoking only plays a peripheral role; insisting on lower nicotine content, which exposes smokers to more, not less, carcinogens; ignoring the positive health value of nicotine (thus not really understanding why some smokers suffer more than others, when trying to quit); Chantix.
This is just the latest in the list. Smoking is already known to be dangerous and is generally considered anti-social. Trying to overdo the message is just going to cause people to tune it out. People aren’t stupid. They know plenty of smokers who don’t suffer significant damage (especially at the age of the person in the ad), so they know that this is a rare and exceptional case.
I started smoking by trying to emulate Sgt Rock. An a$$-kicking flu and a little more common sense is what helped me quit after 5 years, some 40 years ago. I think it was a gift from God.
I use an inhaler when I get weezy, clears it up. Not bragging just stating facts...I am 72 and started smoking at 13.
What a wuss. Quitting is easy. Takes no skill, just will.
"But I really want one..waaaaaaah!"
I’ve always wondered if the politicans really wanted to get rid of smoking, despite all the rhetoric. Wouldn’t be surprised if they have psychologists design those ads to backfire (while, of course, looking quite legit). In the end, tobacco is too good a cash cow. Better to demonize the cigarette companies and bleed them (& the smokers) dry than to actually eliminate smoking
I’m not a smoker but I see this as just more Big Brother, Nanny Statism.
People are tired of federal government politicians and bureaucrats trying to micro-manage their lives.
Great point! Don’t count on it though.