I always take interest in social campaigns/social responsibility ads, aimed at achieving various purposes like educating the mass about a disease, motivating people for behaving in a socially responsible manner in some context, etc. And an area of social campaigns that I like to track is the one dealing with anti-smoking campaigns.
For last few days a thought has been there in my mind. All the anti-smoking campaigns appeal to smokers for quitting smoking completely. And I feel this explains why these campaigns have not been that successful. After all, it is tough for any person to give up a bad habit that he has long been addicted to. This is true even in the cases of those bad addictions which are much more harmful than smoking. People know that the habit is harmful, but just cannot give it up. And ultimately all the anti-smoking campaigns turn into damb squibs.
What I feel, the anti-smoking campaigners should make some strategic changes in their campaign style. Instead of asking smokers to completely give up smoking – which is near impossible – they should rather motivate them to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke every day. And while making this appeal, the campaigners should highlight this fact that by reducing the number of cigarettes per day a smoker can not only reduce the gravity of harm that results from smoking, but can also even completely avoid any sort of harmful effects.
I may be wrong, but I personally feel this may have a positive effect on anti-smoking campaigns. After all, no person loves to damage his own health. It is only their failure to overcome addictions that makes them continue with the smoking habit. But if they find that by reducing the number of cigarettes they can maintain a balance between their addiction and health interests, then they are very much likely to respond positively.