Anti-Smoking Campaigns Cause Boomerang Effect

Anti-smoking ads can be very effective towards non-smokers. But for those who are already addicted to cigarettes, specifically college students, anti-smoking campaigns often result in a boomerang effect. A study in The Journal of Consumer Affairs explored these campaigns and the attitudes about them among both smoking and non-smoking college students.

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Malden, MA (PRWEB) September 29, 2006

Anti-smoking ads can be very effective towards non-smokers. But for those who are already addicted to cigarettes, specifically college students, anti-smoking campaigns often result in a boomerang effect. A study in The Journal of Consumer Affairs explored these campaigns and the attitudes about them among both smoking and non-smoking college students.

It was found that views of anti-smoking campaigns are seen much differently between smokers and non-smokers. Non-smokers enjoy harsh fear appeals and scare tactics because they are not at risk, while smokers often handle the scare tactics by denying the risk. College smokers in particular showed negative opinions to many ads, and for a variety of reasons.

Smokers’ Reaction to Ads in General:

“They’re dumb (anti-smoking ads), nobody wants to see 1000 body bags on TV. I change the channel or ignore them. Or else I laugh.”

“I am going to have to die from something someday, and I like smoking, so why shouldn’t this be my cause of death?”

Reasons for these students not quitting also vary from not believing they can quit to wanting to be entitled to their vice. “This study provides evidence that the anti-smoking campaigns designed to prevent adolescents from smoking send the wrong messages to college student smokers,” says researcher Dr. Joyce M. Wolburg.

Better uses of money for smoking cessation campaigns need to be implemented as smokers are already aware of the risks. They need specifics on how to quit instead of reminders that smoking kills.

This study is published in The Journal of Consumer Affairs. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact blackwellpublishing.net.

The purpose of The Journal of Consumer Affairs is to serve as a publication outlet for scholarly research, analysis and informed opinions advancing the consumer interest. The journal features analysis of individual, business, and/or government decisions and actions that can affect or influence the interests of consumers in the marketplace.

Dr. Joyce M. Wolburg is Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research and Associate Professor of Advertising and Public Relations at the J. William and Mary College of Communication, Marquettee University. Dr. Wolburg can be reached for questions or interview by e-mail.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/joca

Blackwell Publishing is the world’s leading society publisher, partnering with 665 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 800 journals and, to date, has published more than 6,000 books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

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