The Effectiveness of the Anti-Tobacco Advertisements
The Analysis of Nature of Tobacco Companies
To smoke or not is the question of the same category as whether to drink or not, or to engage in sports and die being healthy or do not care about your own health and die being sick. In any case, it is a matter of personal decision of each adult based, firstly, on one’s consciousness, and secondly, on the freedom of choice. Of course, as a regulator of social relations, the state can (and should) respond to the destructive preferences of its citizens. Tobacco is being recognized as the only legally available product that, in terms of direct usage, even in small doses, has adverse effects on human health and can kill its consumers. Smoking causes early death from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, as well as cancer in people of the working age. Inhalation of the tobacco smoke increases in non-smokers the risk of developing lung cancer and myocardial infarction, and asthma in children, who live with smokers. Any safe tobacco consumption does not exist; moreover, no technical devices that protect from tobacco smoke are created.
From the viewpoint of the international and national legislation in the field of consumer protection, the product safety regarding tobacco products cannot be guaranteed. Only the reduction of consumption, which clearly proved its danger, ensures the implementation of the basic rights of consumers. However, despite the enormous number of anti-tobacco advertisements in the history of social commercials, they have failed to bring any sufficient decrease in the cigarette consumption. Although different social organizations and tobacco companies promote dangers of the habit, smoking rates tend to increase both in the 1990s and today. This fact proves the ineffectiveness of anti-tobacco advertisements, in general.
The hypothesis of this research is to determine the role of social advertising in the society, in particular, the anti-tobacco advertising in the 1990s. The contradiction of the topic is explained by the disparity of social advertising and consumer needs of most commercials of the 1990s. The methodological base of research includes the descriptive method, analysis, and synthesis of the existing research base, creative thinking, critical evaluation, and reinterpretation.
The Essence of Anti-Tobacco Advertisements
Informative social advertising is a significant form of advertising in human lives. It draws attention to the most important issues of the society: different social programs, as well as ways and opportunities to solve them. An important element of this advertising is the existence of feedback. If the problem is accurately, sharply, and clearly revealed, the social responsibility of such commercials is to provide viewers with a choice of ways to solve this problem or encourage reaction to it.
A strong social anti-smoking campaign was carried out in four dimensions in the 1990s: medical advertising, ironic advertising, advertising that called for the smoking cessation, and advertising lawsuits against tobacco packaging cigarettes. The last ones were one of the most important tools in the fight against smoking at those times. Still, there was not adopted any strict tobacco regulation, which could set the amount of space on the packaging to be occupied by social (anti-tobacco) advertising (Pierce et al., 1998). However, the inscription “lights,” which exists till today on the packaging (in the draft regulations), has been a true tobacco (antisocial) advertising.
Back in the 1990s, the entire anti-tobacco campaign was structured ineffectively and improperly. In fact, the situation has not changed till today. According to the facts, only up to 5% of people gave up smoking, with the help of substitutes – up to 10%, with the use of expensive drugs and methods – up to 20%. Moreover, other smokers have continued smoking; they do not want to stop. It is obvious that they are not affected by the anti-tobacco advertising in any way. Thus, the primary influence should reach those who do not smoke; accordingly, the whole anti-tobacco campaign should take a different way of development. In addition, anti-tobacco adverts should not only inform about the dangers of smoking, which everyone already knows but also outline strategies and name help centers that can assist one to overcome this addiction.
Anti-Tobacco Advertisements in the 1990s and Tobacco Companies
The fight against the tobacco addiction and studying the impact of tobacco on the human body are among important goals of developed countries today. In the United States, the task of helping a person get rid of tobacco dependence is managed by social advertising. The campaign is implemented by discrediting the positive image of a smoker, which is widely accepted in the society, rather than by printing frightening images that form a physiological disgust.
Perhaps, one of the most interesting aspects associated with smoking is a significant change in the attitude of society to the habit. What was once promoted as a symbol of refinement and elegance, now, is labeled a stupid habit of a slovenly and weak person. Until the 1950s, movies and the television, in general, were dominated by positive images of smoking; the trend decreased only after the intensification of advertising. In the films of those years, Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis often put the emphasis in the dialogue by crushing a cigarette with flair (Stockwell & Glantz, 1997). In the early years of television, scenes, in which famous actors were shrouded in clouds of smoke, were popular (Aftab, Kolben, & Lurie, 1999). Significant attention to smoking was caused by the fact that at those times, smokers were considered mysterious and exquisite individuals. The same image was used in strong marketing campaigns launched by tobacco companies, which paid actors for smoking their products (Menashe, 1998).
In addition, filmmakers used a cigarette just for occupying the hands of actors with anything. Regardless of the reasons for the image of smokers, tobacco products began to appear on the pages of newspapers and magazines more frequently since smoking on the television and in movies had decreased (Pechmann, & Shih, 1999). In 1971, the US banned tobacco advertising in mass media; later, its example was followed by many other countries worldwide. Some famous actors, directors, producers, and writers were against using smoking on TV as a marketing tool and joined the unofficial moratorium on the appearance of cigarettes on the screen. However, in recent years, the trend of using tobacco products in movies and on television is returning again.
Since the mid-1990s, in films and television, smoking cigars has become much more popular (Pechmann & Shih, 1999). At the same time, when the image of tobacco products began to disappear from the media, the anti-smoking campaign intensified. The radio and television, as well as in newspapers and magazines, presented reports that smoking was dangerous and popularized the image of disgusting smokers (Stockwell & Glantz, 1997). Moreover, according to the tobacco treaty that was signed between several US states and the US largest manufacturers of cigarettes, huge amounts of money have been allocated for supporting anti-smoking campaigns (Aftab, Kolben, & Lurie, 1999). The World Health Organization called educational institutions for preventing smoking in young people (Some Reflections on Our Present Discontent, 1990). These campaigns have brought visible benefits. The research, which was conducted by the University of Michigan, showed that in the 1990s, American teenagers started to smoke less and developed a worse attitude to the habit (Aftab, Kolben, & Lurie, 1999). Thus, a strong anti-tobacco campaign was launched.
At the beginning of the 1990s in the United States, to give up smoking has become a fashionable pastime. Still, after numerous celebrities had refused this habit, the whole smoking idea began to lose its popularity rapidly. Eventually, smokers became regarded as some form of addicts (Aftab, Kolben, & Lurie, 1999). In California, for example, smoking was prohibited in all public places; the state campaign against smoking in the early 1990s forced people to stop smoking three times more than on the national average (Siegel & Biener, 1997). The holistic anti-tobacco campaign reached huge success in the US (Appendix A). It is said that such a level was achieved after the introduction of the slogan “Only poor smoking!” In general, Americans tend to use social advertising as a primary communication tool. At least, with this kind of commercials, the U.S. government associated its anti-tobacco activities with the population.
Another trend that was gaining popularity in the 1990s was the desire to shock the publicity by the advertising production (Pierce et al., 1998). After all, the task of any social advertising is to change the attitude of citizens to a certain social issue, to which, as a rule, people have become accustomed. In this situation, social advertising has no other option but to use the shock therapy (Pechmann, & Shih, 1999). According to experts, it is the only way to break through the popular narrow-minded perception of reality. In line with this idea, social advertising in the US becomes more aggressive with each year.
According to estimates of Californian scientists, convincing people of the attractiveness of cigarettes required tobacco manufacturers a quarter of a century. In fact, to reassure Americans this idea has already taken two decades (Siegel & Biener, 1997). According to official data, today, 80% of Americans do not smoke; however, a half of a century ago, about the same number smoked (Siegel & Biener, 1997). Hollywood is a perfect example: on the big screen, there were smoking characters that symbolized not only freedom but also its material embodiment – a cigarette brand.
Anti-tobacco measures taken in the early 1990s had caused a set of events in the tobacco industry that has entirely changed operations of the same (U.S. Cigarette Market in the 1990’s, 1990). In 1997, tobacco corporations concluded the most unprecedented agreement with the governments of some states. Under this agreement, companies had to pay 360 billion dollars over 25 years (Kagan & Vogel, 1993). Most money was to be spent on anti-tobacco advertising. In 1997, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) stopped its advertising campaign with the popular character, Joe Camel. In 1997, for the first time in the history of tobacco companies, the head of “Liggett” Bennett LeBow recognized that cigarettes could cause cancer (U.S. Cigarette Market in the 1990’s, 1990). The same year, the director of the Geoffrey C. Bible also noted that smoking had probably caused the death of 100,000 people (U.S. Cigarette Market in the 1990’s, 1990). The next day, the director, Steven Goldstone, talked about the connection between smoking and cancer. In 1997, Liggett began to put the full list of ingredients on the boxes of cigarettes, starting from 26 components of L&M cigarettes. In 1998, California became the first state that prohibited smoking in bars (Siegel & Biener, 1997). In 1998, the RJR released sensational documents of the company, which stated that the cigarette advertising targeted the minors. In 1998, the leaders of tobacco corporations (Laurence A. Tisch, co-chairman and executive director of Loews Corporation, Geoffrey Bible, the chairman of the Philip Morris Companies, Inc., Vincent A. Gierer, executive director of the UST, Inc., Stephen F. Goldstone, the chairman and CEO of RJR Nabisco., and Nicholas J.. Brooks, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Companies) began to testify in the U.S. Congress. As a result, in 1998, 39.000 pages of top-secret tobacco companies’ documents were published on the website of the White House. This event marked the beginning of the tobacco industry’s search for other strategies of advertising its products.
In the global tobacco industry, which is managed by three major international corporations, there are both supporters and opponents of the system. Among them, there is the anti-smoking lobby, which includes companies that make money on the fight against smoking. In the first flight, there were pharmaceutical manufacturers (U.S. Cigarette Market in the 1990’s, 1990). Pharmacological companies allocate funds one marketing the treatment for the nicotine dependence: patches, gum, nasal sprays, and aerosols. In addition, pharmacists are promoting drugs and antidepressants to help people cope with associated psychological problems (sedatives substitute the relaxing effect of smoking) (Pierce et al., 1998). For these companies to popularize the theme of the struggle against smoking is an element of an effective marketing strategy to win the market. Insurers are following the pharmacists in this regard.
In many countries with well-developed life insurance industry, companies that are engaged in this business get millions of dollars on combating smoking (Bunker, 1995). In the United States, there is no free medicine, and people pay for insurance in the case of illness or death. For smokers, who are miller and more likely to die, the cost of insurance is higher. This fact was the reason that made the latter become opponents of tobacco manufacturers.
Populist politicians also received dividends from the participation in the anti-smoking interventions. Traditionally, there are a few industries, in which it is possible to reach political heights rather quickly: alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and weapons. Anything associated with these at risk themes (for example the introduction of laws or public discussions) attracts media attention, as well as increases the importance of politicians in the eyes of the population. The pioneer in this field was Bill Clinton. In the mid-90’s, his administration launched the first large-scale anti-smoking measures (Bunker, 1995). For Clinton, the anti-tobacco issue became one of the keys to his election campaign. At the time, the United States introduced restrictions on the tobacco advertising, eliminated cigarette vending machines, and took some other restrictive measures (Brownson et al., 1995). Moreover, American politicians and businesspersons actively exploit this subject that is popular both in the United States and outside the country.
Special attention is paid to the work with legislators, as well as financial and tax institutions. Despite the great lobbying power of tobacco corporations, to date, it is the most discriminated industry in terms of the legislature. Generally, the activation of the global anti-smoking campaign occurred at the end of the 1990s when the problem of obesity, cancer, and diseases of the cardiovascular system rose sharply in the Western society (Brownson et al., 1995). The challenging topic of a healthy way of life resonated at the political level. In this sense, the fight against smoking has become a part of the information demonization concerning all bad habits (Brownson et al., 1995). Nevertheless, several centuries of the liberal regime for smokers and tobacco corporations’ zeal to promote their product led to the emergence of a giant segment of the population of tobacco addicts (U.S. Cigarette Market in the 1990’s, 1990). Potentially, it is a big market for pharmaceutical companies, which have developed a line of products in order to help smokers to get rid of their addiction gently. Thus, such an activity of other organizations is being stimulated by social advertisements of anti-tobacco campaigns that started in the 1990s and continued up to date.
Tobacco Companies and their Activities in Anti-Tobacco Advertisements
The informational influence of anti-tobacco advertisements and policies in the 1990s forced tobacco companies to shift their promotional strategies and develop them on the deeper perception. The basic guidelines that aimed at forming long, but firmly fixed ideas in people’s minds were communicated (U.S. Cigarette Market in the 1990’s, 1990). Traditional male brands emphasize the desire of a person to achieve their own goals and win victories, as well as utilize their commitment to the highest quality. On the other hand, female brands aim to attract women by emphasizing the exclusivity and high cost, as well as light and style cigarettes.
Due to the nature of the product marketed by the industry and its social harmfulness, tobacco companies engage in the social responsibility through the corporate philosophy (a detailed set of moral, ethical, and business standards that guide the entity’s employees), (U.S. Cigarette Market in the 1990’s, 1990). Thus, tobacco corporations are developing a special tradition of consuming their products. The Internet, periodicals, and companies’ websites were often flashed with publications about responsible marketing. The ideas presupposes providing consumers with the complete and accurate information about any hazards of production and the impact of consumption on their health, the condemnation of smoking in minors, the desire to assist authorities with the enforcement of legal norms adopted in the field of smoking, and the fight with selling tobacco products near educational institutions (Nelson, 1991).
As one can see, the social responsibility issue has been gaining more and more popularity among tobacco companies in the recent years. Thus, corporations have altered their strategies and become to use the social instruments as a powerful tool of hidden marketing.
Social responsibility occupies a whole column that provides a detailed description of all ongoing programs in the areas of:
- Sponsorship and charitable support of projects in the culture and art fields;
- Responsible marketing (providing consumers with full and accurate information about the product, as well as its detailed characteristics and effects on health);
- Occupational health and the environment.
- Prevention of smoking in minors.
The latter problem is the most challenging one. Tobacco companies were constantly under attack by journalists, which accused them of having a hidden influence on the psyche of minors in order to make them interested in smoking. Concerning this issue, leaders of the tobacco market have always openly declared their support for any programs that aimed at preventing the youth smoking (Chilcote, 1991).
The activities of tobacco companies in this area aim at achieving two goals: preventing the sale of tobacco products to minors and convincing children and teenagers not to smoke (Airhart, Berry, & Sanderson, 1993). In addition to the concern for society, tobacco companies strive to do their best and take care of their consumers. In line with the smoking ban in public places in the 1990s, tobacco companies planned to open special rooms for smoking at airports (Sweda & Daynard, 1996). As noted at the beginning of the work in the tobacco industry of that time and now, the rivalry in the production and pricing gave a way to the competition in ideas concerning the promotion (Tobacco Memo May Help FDA, 1999). As in all other mature markets, companies that have reached perfection in quality and manufacturability of the offered goods were seeking to improve not goods as such but their image. One of the strategies in this regard is replacing goods with brands; people develop the idea of the goods as symbols that generate certain value for consumers and cause a complex associative array. Functional branding markets the conception of cigarettes of high quality at a reasonable price.
In its turn, it creates new trends; for example, in emotional branding, the idea that brand goods are designed specifically for them and fit their ideals is incepted in people’s minds (Sweda & Daynard, 1996). Manufacturers of tobacco products have started to pay more attention to the issue of control when the attitude to the product is altered without changing its real essence. The main field of the tobacco companies’ rivalry includes the name and slogan of the brand (the key characteristics of the brand), pack-branding (the possibility of reusing a pack), co-branding (creating associations with the already well-known brand), promotion (contests and sweepstakes), as well as unique selling offers (creative and unusual ideas that allow creating new needs for consumers.
In order to overcome the worsened position in the market that was caused by anti-tobacco advertisements and laws, tobacco corporations resorted to other tools and methods with the view to appearing on the screens (Harris, Doak, & Shrum, 1991). Such strategies included the sponsorship by the tobacco industry that is a kind of tool that is corrupting celebrities, political figures, and the media, in general. Most often, tobacco companies sponsor political parties, as well as sports and cultural events (Harris, Doak, & Shrum, 1991). This tactic reduced the efforts of the anti-smoking movement and allowed tobacco promotion under the existing prohibitions on advertising. Meanwhile, the warning about the dangers of smoking and its negative impact on health are not communicated.
As an example, it is essential to consider Virginia Slims, the brand of cigarettes for women (Leo Burnett Agency). Virginia Slims is a brand that was created by Philip Morris in 1968 and aimed at the young business women. It was coined by the famous slogan “You’ve come a long way, baby” (“Long way, baby You’re gone”) (Leo Burnett Agency).
Later, in the 1990s, the slogan was changed to “It’s a woman thing” and “Find your voice.” All these marketing strategies were designed to associate cigarette smoking with popular at the time ideas of the female emancipation and women’s self-realization (Leo Burnett Agency). The diameter of Virginia Slims cigarettes is smaller than that of a conventional cigarette of the same format. This design was introduced not only to ensure the elegance of the product but also to make a smaller release of smoke when smoking. In advertising, Virginia Slims cigarettes at different times employed various famous models and actresses (Leo Burnett Agency). The mark was the sponsor of the sports competition in women’s tennis, which had significantly contributed to the development of the Women’s Tennis Association. Such changes in the advertising strategy made the company promote the product in terms of the social responsibility policy and anti-tobacco advertising campaign.
The Analysis of Nature of Tobacco Companies and Anti-Tobacco Advertisements
The mechanism of tobacco propaganda is a brilliantly arranged system that is hard to be understood by an average person. The population quite sincerely believes that it is between two confronting parties – the tobacco companies that are trying to attract as many people as possible by advertising, on the one hand, and the Department of Health and Human Services, which sincerely cares about the health of all citizens and is desperately struggling to prevent smoking, on the other hand.
The question raised in the 1990s aimed to answer whether smoking was a bad habit or legalized addiction. It is evident that all the tools used in this struggle are clear and obvious (Studlar, 1999). They include numerous billboards along the roads with giant images of cigarettes with the slogan of the HHS Department that is inscribed in large letters directly on the billboard and states, “Smoking is dangerous to your health.” It would seem that everything is so simple and obvious. Tobacco companies do everything to advertise their products while the HHS prohibits any commercials of the kind on the TV and radio and forces manufacturers to write a warning about the dangers of smoking directly on each cigarette pack (Restricting Tobacco Advertising, 1995). However, the main worry here is that something is still wrong.
The population lives with the illusion that the main cigarette advertisements are billboards with giant images of packs of “NEXT”, “KENT”, and “Vogue”, for example. However, it is reasonable to look at those ads more attentively. It is crucial to understand whether a person understands the initial message; if earlier one did not smoke, the image might tempt one to smoke. Another question is whether a viewer sees all information, either open or disguised, which may indeed encourage a non-smoker to take a cigarette into the mouth and taste it. The advertisement claims that they are delicious. It asserts that smoking is cool. It ensures that with a cigarette, one will conquer all women or become fabulously rich and happy. It seems that the situation is not so clear. Therefore, it is essential to understand the deeper sense of tobacco advertisements (Studlar, 1999).
Therefore, based on the above statements, it is essential to set the right questions in order to understand the entire operation of the tobacco industry.
Such questions include:
- If adverts of tobacco companies fail to communicate the right appeal, why do corporations spend tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising campaigns? Is it reasonable for them to spend money in vain?
- Does the society think that it is not able to hire highly skilled professionals from the field of advertising and promotion of NLP and human psychology with the view to creating a promotional product that will penetrate into the depths of the human subconscious and inexorably persuade one to smoke?
- Do people think that it is so easy to understand the pointlessness and inefficiency of these advertisements, as well as believe in the idea that manufacturers of cigarettes do not understand the issue?
- Does society think that only people know that a giant image of a pack of cigarettes does not affect the consumer behavior?
- Are cigarette manufacturers not aware of the fact that a customer absolutely does not care about the size of a pack they will get?
- What kind of advertising certainly cannot affect people, because it does not contain any argument in favor of the same pack, does not present any advantages of smoking, does not contain any hidden subconscious associative arrays, and fails to link smoking with certain positive developments, with which a person is familiar in the everyday life?
Even common consumers understand the roots of these inefficient advertising campaigns that are launched and supported by tobacco corporations. Consequently, it is interesting why these business players spend huge money on commercials that obviously do not work. It is crucial to understand the rationale behind the ineffective and useless advertising that costs hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
The answers are simple:
Tobacco companies do not mind spending millions of dollars because they make billions. These funds are a necessary sacrifice, which they make in order to build their system and make it continue to operate successfully and avoid any public condemnation.
For those in charge of tobacco companies, the maximum profit is the primary goal and indicator of the success of their management. However, the management of any company is carried out in the framework of its owners’ interests. The owners of tobacco companies are not interested in profit, because they do not make money but have already come up with them. They create the name and develop unique designs. They have written mathematical laws of circulation and made them control all economic processes (operations with partial coverage and discount rates, for example). They are not interested in profit – they are interested in a stable control system, one of the simplest elements of which is smoking (Studlar, 1999).
Thus, it is essential to identify where tobacco leaders hide true cigarette advertising from publicity. Firstly, every time a person goes to the movies, he or she can witness how after a terrible battle, when the thunder of the artillery fire dies down, the survivors, exhausted and devastated by the soldiers in the trenches, go back, leaning back against the damp earth, and what they say is always, “Let’s have a smoke, fellow front”(Studlar, 1999). In other situation, after stunning, breathtakingly dizzying sex with countless orgasms, screen lovers recline on the bed and light a cigarette with a blissful smile on their faces. It is a real cigarette advertising, in which cigarettes, rest, pleasure, and sex connect in a logical array. Another example is when a young and vigorous gangster comes and asks to take him to the case, the boss of the mafia is always doing the same thing, This man is the embodiment of power, who is tossing and turning millions of dollars and has hundreds of women; he slowly tips an expensive Cuban cigar and closely examines the upstart on the subject of whether he fits into the business or not (Pechmann, & Shih, 1999). Thus, these examples show how tobacco companies managed to create in the 1990s a strong association of smoking cigarettes and being cool, lucky, and wealthy.
However, the reality is a fraud:
- It is not cool – a smoking person is an addict.
- It is not clever – the person was stupid enough to become an addict.
- It is neither strong and not overbearing – the person does not have enough will, power over oneself to get rid of the drug addiction.
- The person thinks he/she rules the world just because there is too much smoke around (Pechmann, & Ratneshwar, 1994).
- Even more clearly, all the hopelessness of the situation of those times uncovers when one analyzes the blind faith of citizens in the good intentions of the HHS department and its genuine fight for the health of the nation.
In fact, only the artificial restriction of intellectual potential of people provides them with a sincere belief in that they are so smart that only they understand the absolute ineffectiveness of control methods used by the HHS (Studlar, 1999). People sincerely believe that the department is working without collecting any statistical data that could reflect the results of their work, as it does not have required resources to develop and launch effective advertising and promotion campaigns, have not studied the mechanism of the nicotine addiction, and do not know the methods of its treatment (Studlar, 1999). Thus, it is essential to conclude that the society sincerely believes that the HHS department does not notice the futility of its actions and really consider that the words “Smoking is dangerous to your health” can help people get rid of the addiction or can warn them of associated dangers (Studlar, 1999). Such a situation and poor activity made people of the 1990s believe that the HHS department was really struggling with the smoking problem as effectively as possible with producing lighter cigarettes and showing images of stained and yellow teeth.
The publicity sincerely believed that the adverts with anti-tobacco notion were working. However, it is essential to put into the question who among the smokers does not know that the habit causes lung cancer; effects yellow teeth, makes people experience the shortness of breath and apnea, impacts the potency, shortens life, and leads to the development of cardiovascular disease. The answers to all similar questions are simple; everybody knows about these consequences. Therefore, there is no possibility that the restatement of the same information can make anybody quit smoking under the influence of this message.
Analyzing the social adverts of the anti-tobacco propaganda, it seems that the HHS department purposes not to help people get rid of nicotine addiction but just to scare everyone. Thus, officials believe that, under the influence of anti-smoking advertising, a person would try to give up the nicotine addiction with the help of their own willpower (Studlar, 1999). However, the mechanism to eliminate the habit is absolutely another, but it deliberately asks one to try to quit without giving appropriate knowledge of how to achieve the aim. Producers of anti-tobacco adverts of the 1990s were perfectly aware of the results of a diabolical experiment on the people’s psyche in advance (Studlar, 1999). They knew that the one would fight with cigarettes and get nervous; one would work off on innocent people and would smoke the last cigarette over and over again. One would give oneself and friends solemn vows and promises, would not care about them the very next morning and would hasten to buy a new pack (Studlar, 1999). They knew that they were going to turn the smoker’s life into a nightmare and anguish. Moreover, the longer one smokes. the bigger the torments, the longer the process of giving up, the stronger the trauma associated with the unfortunate attempt would be. The longer a person holds out, the tasty the one would find the long-awaited cigarette after a forced abandonment. The longer a person does not smoke, the better one will understand how he or she needs a cigarette and how unbearable the life without it is (Studlar, 1999). The longer a person does not smoke, the more one will experience weakness and helplessness in the face of this dependence. The longer a person does not smoke, the less likely that one will ever commit another such attempt is. The longer a person does not smoke, the greater the dependency on cigarettes when one slips out will be. The longer a person does not smoke, the more devoted smoker one becomes afterward.
The psychological process of giving up smoking discussed above is well-known among the researchers, psychologists, addicts, and those who promote anti-tobacco adverts. It seems that the desire to make people come up with this experience and thoughts is a method to show the publicity of the helplessness of the HHS department and other social organizations (Studlar, 1999). The aim is to demonstrate how much a cigarette can do with a person if one makes a decision to give up the habit. This issue forces people to be afraid of a new attempt, as well as to intimidate and weaken the one.
According to the research, 2% of smokers still are able to get rid of their addiction, but only 0.2% – 0.7% are able to maintain the achieved results for the rest of their life. Other 1.3% – 1.7% will again fall for the bait of the hidden tobacco advertising that communicates false associations and images, and they again will take a cigarette in their mouth many years later (Proposal to Tobacco Institute for Campaign against Cigarette, 1990). Thus, according to this research, the loss of tobacco companies is only 0.2% – 0.7%. Such figures are quite permissible for them and have nothing to do with significant losses. Thus, cigarette manufacturers and the HHS department work in close cooperation with a common goal of controlling the behavior of the vast masses of people.
It is a typical example of the game of power and opposition. If the power is in single hands, there will always be those who will be unhappy with the state of affairs. Those disaffected will always be able to implement this discontent into action. Social advertisements and anti-tobacco campaigns seem to have the same purpose of making the nicotine-addicted people become even more addicted because the impossibility to cope with the problem just following the mottos of adverts and warnings on the packs of cigarettes.
The Assessment of the Efficiency of Anti-Tobacco Advertisements
Anti-tobacco ads are divided into several main messages that are conveyed with the help of visual and verbal symbols. It is essential to identify the reasons as to why this advertising, which is often on the verge of a foul and sometimes even crossing the border of ethics and psychological comfort, does not work. The reasons lie in the double standards that are imposed on the public via the media, cinema, and show business, among others. Everyone understands that it is necessary to fight smoking, but most people have absolutely nothing against the fact that movie characters usually smoke cigars or cigarettes. Seemingly, in melodramas, beautifully and gracefully women with cigarettes allowed the menthol mist to become even more attractive.
In spite of everything, each day, numerous social advertising against tobacco use reminds people that smoking is harmful. In many ways, strategies and tools that are used in these commercials become obsolete; they are copied and only slightly modified. In order to draw attention to the problem, many advertising agencies produce striking visuals materials, which certainly will not pass unnoticed. A study showed that shocking images on packages, as well as anti-smoking horror videos are ineffective because the brain of a viewer develops certain psychological mechanisms in order to overcome the stressfulness of the situation. As a result, required emotions do not arise. A person that feels the influence of such advertising has the following experiences. The one’s mental resources are not allocated for processing the message. Consequently, its displacement is the natural mechanism to prevent the moral shock and reduce the emotional response to the problem of smoking. Such protective reaction of the brain can be strong enough to make viewers completely stop the intelligent processing of the messages contained in such advertisements.
Social advertising only increases and strengthens the interest in cigarettes. Such a conclusion of scientists is of great importance; moreover, it is supported by the fact that the third part of the world’s anti-smoking propaganda is funded by the major manufacturers of cigarettes (Lorillard, 1999). The research argues that the social non-advertising has a very specific title: smokers, for instance, simply do not notice it; it is being just a background for them. With regard to a smoker, he or she does not care about the context of smoking a cigarette. Thus, the form of a terrible or beautiful warning has no sense. Anyway, the well-known and recognized image is bound to cause one an irresistible wish to smoke.
According to some estimates, inscriptions “Smoking kills” on packs of cigarettes cause a completely opposite effect on a certain proportion of smokers. A huge number of advertising campaigns and commercials against smoking are developed and sponsored by tobacco companies themselves. In such a manner, even within the anti-advertising campaign, they strive to accustom people to smoking and smoking. As a result, more people adopt the habit. Tobacco companies themselves strongly disagree with the inefficiency of anti-tobacco advertising, but the increasing number of smokers all over the world proves another statistics.
In today’s world, there are a lot of things and feelings, to which people are used and which they do not want to lose. The interest comes with temptations. Of course, the society assures that consuming alcohol or tobacco is a pathological addiction or disease, which needs to be paid attention to and be treated. However, with time, the understanding and feelings of smokers have drastically changed from a habit with a strong positive image to the one that causes deaths.
Until the 1990s, the active advertisement of tobacco had a place. However, when the critical path of tobacco dangers came in the mid-90s, the world experts recognized that the tobacco smoke was a serious medical and social problem and one of the major preventable causes of non communicable diseases. This time was a crucial moment to change the policy of the country concerning the tobacco propaganda and adjust the strategies of tobacco companies in terms of promoting their performance. After the law to prohibit the advertising of the tobacco products had been passed, the tobacco giants changed their strategic path and launched a promotion campaign through conducting a hidden advertisement of cigarettes, taking an active position, and informing people on the dangers of smoking, as well as the popularization of the brand by the sponsorships with the view to creating a positive image of the company.
The harmful effects of smoking on the human body are known for many centuries. However, despite such a long time of possessing knowledge about the dangers of the habit and complicated struggle with this habit, the number of smokers worldwide is steadily increasing with each year. The situation with the spread of tobacco smoking in all countries grew into the global epidemic.