Why So Negative?

Recent ads created for the anti-smoking campaign feature people with terminal health issues caused by their addiction to nicotine and cigarettes. This strategy embraces fear as the only tactic to effect change.

This was tried in the 1980s when the actor Yul Brunner made the PSA about his lung cancer. Scare tactics don’t have long-term impact. Intimidating people with visions of carcinogenic horror only work short term. People block images they don’t want to remember. Who decided that fear works?

Why is there no focus on the positive aspects of being smoke-free? Why has this approach not been tried?

I stopped three years ago after a three-decade habit, and regained most of my lung capacity, my sense of smell, and have saved $8,000.

My friends say I look healthier and smell better, and I’ve stopped the constant coughing. Their unwavering encouragement is what worked for me. Anti-smoking advertising should focus at least some of their campaign on the personal success of those who get smoke-free.

This alternative approach would certainly be a breath of fresh air.

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