Shock Tactics

You may have gathered from the photo that I have stopped smoking, using the one method that worked for me in the past and it is my own damn-fool fault that I didn’t make it past two and a half years. Yes, there will always be someone suggesting a ciggie would help and no, you have to be on your guard all the time.

I won’t bore you with the details. If you want to know what the pills are and how they work you can see it all here. 

This got me into a very interesting discussion with a friend on FB about scare tactics and how they don’t work so I thought I’d share our mutual findings. Any interest group is going to share images because they are so much more effective than mere words. However, the stronger the image, the fewer times the audience can see it before being turned off.

Take, for example the pictures below which are designed to make people think about the effects of smoking:

lungsBreathe a bit


If you are a smoker, your reaction to the one on the right is probably – OK, OK – I’m not stupid I know…you have already been bombarded with these as much as advertising for books! If you are a non-smoker it probably doesn’t have any shock value because you know too. I know that nobody will have seen the advert on the left because I just created it and it might have an awww factor the first time. That too will lose its charm.

The same is true for the appalling clips of abattoirs with which I will not offend you. Anyone who eats meat knows that it has to come from a previously live animal and to get to their plate it has to go through a process called being killed. They have accepted that and can live with it. Those of us who don’t have made our decisions and don’t need to see something that we find horrific.

Tricky isn’t it? How do we get the message across? Search me, Chief. All I know is that for the two years plus that I wasn’t smoking I felt good. I intend to get back there and cigs can join prescription meds and booze in my “used to, not now” pile. So hand me my halo while I go off to clean the lavatory to remind myself that I am a mere mortal!

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10 thoughts on “Shock Tactics

  1. Great, well written and informative without making a smoker feel that they are a terrible person because they smoke, just says to me ‘ Hey, you know it’s not good for you, please quit ‘ Not all the shock horror tactics, they don’t work…thanks Ailsa, again, another great blog

  2. Good for you! Giving up smoking was one of the hardest things I ever did, and it took me loads of attempts, but it was well worth it. I agree about the scare tactics. They usually made me want to go and have a fag. Also, when I was very depressed, the idea of getting a fatal disease from them was an incentive to carry on, not to stop.

  3. Well done Ailsa. It may not be the first time but it could be the last. I should give up but don’t want o so the likelihood of getting that drug and the help is minimal. Maybe my time of seeing sense will come.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  4. A well written post and yes scare tactics don’t work with a capital D..hubby has and always will smoke has made token attempts to give up but doesn’t really want to.
    Me I gave up 40 years ago..before all the scare tactics reared their heads but how did I do it well I worked out what I spent on the ” evil weed” and bought something I wanted to that value and also felt that reasonably I couldn’t encourage my kids not to smoke while holding a lighted one in the other hand and also ones young son used to draw all over my packets horrible pics and the words you will die..nice kid.
    Did it stop the kids half and half..I blame dad for the ones that
    So good Luck and I hope you succeed 🙂

  5. Keep going Ailsa. I’ve seen no-end of campaigns and I think a lot will come down to peer pressure and the fact that there are fewer and fewer places where smoking is not frowned upon. There are a lot of services around but it’s impossible to change a behaviour unless the person is at the point when they are determined to change. And even then, it’s not easy… Best of luck.

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