Strategic communication and anti-smoking campaigns

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Jim Mahoney


Worldwide consumer education programs, often fear-based, designed to convince young people to stop cigarette smoking have had mixed success. This paper reviews literature on the effectiveness of anti-smoking campaigns directed at young people and presents findings from research that examined the attitudes of 234 university students towards such campaigns. The research findings, and approaches to strategic communication, are used to argue anti-smoking campaigns might be more effective in generating behavioural change among young smokers if they applied two-way techniques rather than symbolic tactics that characterise current efforts.

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