Deterring people from smoking can help save their lives, but convincing them that smoking is dangerous is often difficult. This is especially true when it comes to younger people who tend to have a sense of invincibility. Creating effective posters for placement on school walls and notice boards and in public buildings such as health departments, for example, can help prevent people from smoking or convince them to quit. Use a graphics program such as Photoshop, GIMP (freeware), ArtRage or Microsoft Paint (basic) to create your antismoking designs and text.
Smoking Isn't "Cool"
Base your poster design on a "Smoking isn't cool" theme, since many teenagers start smoking to be one of the group and to be perceived "cool" like other members of that group. When possible, enlist celebrities, sports figures or others to pose for your poster with text from the "cool" person talking about why they don't smoke. You don't need a national celebrity in order to follow this theme premise. Ask local sports broadcasters or a teen/college player who is a community celebrity. Consider placing smokers in the background of your image depicting smokers coughing or just looking unwell. The contrast between a healthy-looking sports figure with the smokers in the background can be a powerful argument that it's not cool to smoke.
My "Girlfriend/Boyfriend" Argument
It's a fact that a lot of non-smokers won't date a smoker. From smokers breath to second-hand smoke concerns, there are those for whom smoking by someone they otherwise are interested in is a deal breaker. Therefore a poster that depicts two attractive people who make it clear that they don't date smokers can be a convincing argument, especially to teens and young adults. Alternately, create text that supports a photograph the centre of your poster where a multiethnic group of attractive people are wearing antismoking T-shirts that read "You're Cute but Not that Cute."
The Shocker Approach
One of the best ways to demonstrate the devastating effects of smoking is to show the actual consequences of smoking. There are several ways to create a poster that will provide a shock to those thinking about smoking or to convince current smokers to stop. One approach is to solicit the help of a person who is dealing the effects of smoking, for example, a person who is hooked up to oxygen in order to breathe because they have emphysema due to smoking. Include a quote from the person who, for instance, lists the things they use to love to do, like swimming or taking a walk in the park, that he can no longer do. Another approach is to provide statistical data on the number of deaths due to smoking each next to an X-ray image of lungs of a person who has smoked for years versus a pair of healthy lungs.
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