10 Ingenious Anti-Smoking Campaigns

no smoking signIt’s tough to quit smoking. Indeed, it’s a battle that millions of persons face each day as they attempt to take their first steps toward a longer, healthier lifestyle. Recent research has shown that not only is smoking dangerous, but nicotine can also potentially increase the likelihood of a person becoming addicted to other drugs (such as cocaine). In a landmark study reported at Neuroscience 2011, researchers at Columbia University demonstrated “the molecular mechanisms of nicotine as a gateway drug” able to affect gene expression and prime the body for further addiction (Sukel, 2012).

Yet despite the expense, the hassle and the negative physical and mental effects, many persons still feel the urge to smoke regularly. The high addictiveness of nicotine has forced anti-smoking advocates to take strong, often shocking positions in order to attract eyes and change minds. Here are 10 of the most ingenious anti-smoking campaigns ever created:

1. Ashes to Ashes

This clever poster targets cigarette manufacturer Phillip Morris, comparing the ashes from a single cigarette to the ashes of a person cremated, presumably after falling to a smoking-related disease such as lung cancer.


2. Smoking Makes You a Slave to Tobacco

Appealing to our sexuality, this shocking poster compares smoking to being a slave to a demanding master. It is a situation almost every smoker can identify with, given the unmistakable feeling that accompanies any self-realized bad habit.


3. Smoking Causes (Very) Premature Ageing

Highlighting the terrible effect that smoking can have on one’s appearance over time, the insinuation that this obviously well-aged woman is only just hitting her 42nd birthday tries to appeal to the inherent vanity found in all people to encourage us to kick the habit.


4. With Cigarettes, Your Life Goes to Ashes

A not-so-gentle reminder that smoking cigarettes is a near-certain way to end an otherwise peaceful and joyful life heartbreakingly early; the inclusion of a happy family setting adds extra effect for parents who smoke. Surely, none of us are ever ready to leave our children behind.


5. Notes Aren’t the Only Thing Children Share in Schools Today

Smoking is a habit often picked up very early in life, and schools offer a large platform for peer pressure and access to cigarettes. This poster serves as a reminder to all parents and educators to stay informed and involved with each child’s school life. This is essential in preventing that first, potentially life altering decision to try smoking.


6. Ash and Burn: Think of the Others You’re Affecting

The effects of smoking on smokers themselves are obvious; the effects of second-hand smoke are often not nearly as apparent. From the point of view of someone exposed to second-hand smoke, this poster offers a quick reminder to smokers of the far-ranging effects of their habit on the lives of others.


7. Cancer Loading…Please Wait

A clever take on a common technical sight, the idea of the slow but steady increase in risk of deadly cancers is conveyed here with an eye towards appealing to the sensibilities of modern, technologically savvy people.


8. Pleasure for You, Poison for Your Family

Despite the well-known ill affects of smoking cigarettes in the home and other places where children live and play, many parents continue to willingly expose young lungs to second-hand smoke. This anti-smoking campaign is geared towards exposing and changing that situation.


9. Non-Smoking Area

All particulars aside, smoking, quite frankly, kills. This harsh reminder outlines the final and most horrible outcome for smokers: premature death.


10. Cancer Society of Finland Bus Stops

Offering what is perhaps the most genius anti-smoking campaign of the bunch, the Cancer Society of Finland collected cigarette butts and used them to to fill the shape of a set of lungs at bus stops.  The act served as a simple but forceful reminder to everyone of just how badly those invaluable organs are affected by smoking.


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Sukel, K. (2012, February 3). As if you needed another reason to quit. Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dirty-minds/201202/if-you-needed-another-reason-quit on April 4, 2012.

Photo courtesy of tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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