Monday, July 23, 2007

Anti-smoking ads backfire

A professor at the University of Georgia has found that those annoying anti-smoking ads on TV have the exact opposite of their (presumed) intended effect. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, "The more exposure middle school students have to anti-smoking ads, the more likely they are to smoke."

This should hardly be surprising to anybody who has raised (or been) a teenager. Teens (at least a lot of them) are rebellious to some degree, and the more some authority figure tells them not to do something, the more likely they are to want to do it.

UGA professor Hye Jin-Paek's suggestion for making the ads more effective strikes me as rather lame also. "Rather than saying, 'don't smoke,' it is better to say, "your friends are listening to this message and not smoking," she said. "It really doesn't matter what their peers are actually doing." So you lie to teens and try a little peer pressure? Sure. that'll work.

How about just stopping all this Nannyism?

1 comment:

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