Objectives of an Anti-Smoking Campaign


Since 1977, the American Cancer Society has encouraged Americans nationwide to quit smoking for the day on the third Thursday of every November as part of the Great American Smokeout.

Beginning in the 1980s, state and local governments began discouraging smoking by banning it in workplaces and restaurants and increasing taxes on cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the objectives of an antismoking campaign should prevent juveniles from starting, promote smoking cessation, educate the public about health issues related to smoking, enact public policy that have an impact on social norms and target population groups with a greater incidence of smoking.

Prevent Youth Smoking

Most people who start smoking do so when they are teens, so it's crucial that an antismoking campaign targets this age group. In 2006, the CDC's National Youth Tobacco Survey reported 25.6 per cent of high school students in the United States currently use a tobacco product, primarily cigarettes. Antismoking messages are communicated to teens through websites, ad campaigns, celebrities and educational programs at school and in the community. A successful antismoking campaign will involve teens in developing the message and provide programs taught by peers.

Smoking Cessation

An important objective of an antismoking campaign is to help those who are addicted to quit. All 50 states have phone-based counselling to help smokers quit. For example, the federal government sponsors (800)-Quit-Now, which helps smokers set a quit date and then provides counselling during three or more follow-up calls that last 15 to 40 minutes. Promotion of in-person of smoking cessation programs and making programs affordable are also key objectives of a quit smoking campaign.

Awareness About Smoking Health Risks

Mass media advertising are effective in raising awareness about the dangers of smoking and secondary smoke. Statewide programs should be comprehensive, sustained and accountable. Use Minnesota and New York as examples. After these states discontinued their antismoking media campaigns, the incidence of smoking among the population in those states increased.

Statewide Smoking Control Initiatives

Many states are passing laws that make smoking less acceptable and less affordable, such as banning smoking in public places and raising sales tax on cigarettes. Laws can also make cigarettes less available to youth by increasing the penalties for selling tobacco to minors.

Target Population Groups

To see the greatest impact from an antismoking campaign, it should reach cultural groups with a higher per cent of smokers. This involves collecting data within communities and developing culturally appropriate messages and programs. Local health departments and community-based organisations should coordinate the implementation of interventions that influence social norms about smoking.