Anti-Smoking Advertising Essay

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, which annually is the cause of death for more than 480,000 Americans. Recent studies have proven that anti-smoking ads are an effective way to substantially decrease the number of smokers in the United States. As most people know, smoking is a very dangerous and life threatening habit, but what some people are unaware of is the detrimental effects that it can have on a person’s life. Graphic advertisements show people the gruesome effects of smoking and how they can alter your life.

Through these advertisements, people are shown different diseases and other problems that are a result of smoking. Anti-smoking advertisements discourage people from smoking and cause them to become fearful of what could happen. Anti-Smoking ads hit home for some people because they show a sense of reality with smoking. When people see the helpless, ill people in the advertisements, it is a wake up call. The majority of anti-smoking ads serve two purposes: to prevent people from starting the bad habit of smoking, and to help persuade smokers to quit.

In March of 2012, the CDC launched their national anti-smoking ad campaign, Tips. This campaign showed smokers that were facing the negative side of smoking, and how their lives were changed because of their decisions. The CDC reported that during the length of the campaign, the percent of smokers who attempted to quit increased by 12% which amounted to over one million people. It was estimated that by the end of the campaign over 100,000 people remained smoke free and over four million nonsmokers discussed the consequences of smoking with another person.

This campaign had an enormous amount of positive effects and was said to help gain about 179,000 years of healthy life for people. Different campaigns are targeted at different age groups and groups of people in order reach a wide variety of people. Research shows that teenagers are more concerned with their appearance more than the thought of obtaining a serious illness from smoking. Ads targeting towards younger crowds often show the outside effects of smoking such as skin conditions, hair loss, and gross teeth.

One of the most widely known campaigns for youth is the Truth Campaign. The Truth Campaign was designed to change youth attitudes about tobacco use, reduce the availability of tobacco products to youth and reduce youth exposure to secondhand smoke. Truth has created many ads and commercials, many of which contain popular public figures. With using respected idols, they hope that kids will see those people and be persuaded about what they have to say. Truth also shows teens who smoke and the different ways that it negatively effects their lives.

The Truth Campaign has been credited with preventing 450,000 young people from smoking from 2000 to 2004. The study also found that 10 months after the campaign’s launch, 75% of youth had seen at least one advertisement, indicating that the campaign resonated with youth. In addition, exposure to Truth Campaign messages was significantly associated with stronger anti-tobacco industry attitudes and belief that taking a stand against smoking is important. Anti-smoking advertising tends to have more reliable positive effects on those in early adolescence by preventing the start of smoking.

A well known figure in the anti-smoking industry is Terrie, a smoker who was diagnosed with oral cancer and throat cancer. Terrie was a well-known, popular girl in high school that made the poor decision one day to smoke a cigarette. Terry then became a regular smoker, smoking up to two packs a day. In 2001, at the age of 40, Terrie was diagnosed with oral cancer, and later that same year, with throat cancer. Doctors informed her that they would need to remove her larynx. Terrie spoke with the help of an artificial voice box that was inserted in her throat.

She continued to battle cancer for thirteen years. Terrie died September 16, 2013, from smoking-related cancer at the young age of 53. Campaigns show people like Terrie in hopes to reach out to the people and make them more aware of what could be in their future if they don’t stop smoking. Stories such as Terrie’s help put a face to the issue and create an awareness. Advertisements that show the gruesome effects of smoking which are effective in decreasing the number of smokers. Smoking is a huge problem in today’s society.

Every time a person lights a cigarette, they are signing away their life. Graphic advertisements are a great way to stop people from smoking and to prevent people from beginning to smoke in the first place. Anti-Smoking advertisements aim to help people put down their cigarette or make them think before buying that next pack. Smokers may not quit right away after seeing an anti- smoking advertisement, but they might slowly digress to the point of quitting. Overall, graphic advertisements have played a big role in causing people to stop smoking or to consider never even trying it.