Is scaring smokers effective?
In Norway, the department of Health have finally decided to put images and text on the packs of smokes that are available in our shops. In the past they only had text like “Smoking kills”, “Smoking is highly addictive” and “Smoking can cause cancer”. A survey performed among 1000 people of all ages, sexes and smoking habits assisted in the selection of the images. The survey showed that younger people respond better to images relating to things they care about, like potency and appearance – while older people were more fact driven. Below are the images chosen in Norway. You have to click them to see them in all their glory:
I am a former smoker, and quit while there was still only text on the cigarettes. Is it really necessary to enhance the “Smoking kills” message by putting images on them? I don’t really know. After decades of being hammered with the unhealthiness of smoking, I think everybody knows that smoking does not improve you in any way, neither physically, mentally or coolness-wise. We all know they are coffin nails and half of those who smoke regularly will die from a smoke related disease. In Norway, even advertising cigarettes (and alcohol btw) is illegal and anything even resembling an ad for cigarettes is instantly banned. I am glad, however, that they chose somewhat less intrusive imagery than the ones I saw when in Thailand:
Most smokers say that they are planning to quit or reduce their smoking, and recent studies have shown that less young people begin to smoke now. I think this is good news, and should reduce the number of deaths among smokers in the long run. Many young people replace smoking with “snusing”, using “Snus” – a smokeless tobacco. This does not, as far as we know now, have the same health issues as smoking, but is just as addictive – if not more addictive – than smoking. Below is some images for your enjoyment of snus and people using it 🙂