POST B: Tobacco Free Florida

The wicked problem of tobacco control is a worldwide phenomenon, as
countries endeavor to reduce the popularity of the harmful and often
deadly practice. In 2005 , the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control (WHO FCTC) entered into force, with countries party to it
obligated to prioritize tackling the global health issue that is
tobacco through factors including advertising, foreign investment and
illicit trade in tobacco products.
A standout initiative is that of Tobacco Free Florida in the United
States (not directly correlated with the FCTC), promoted by the
Florida Department of Health since 2007, as about 480,000 deaths in
the United States is a result of regular tobacco use. Their campaigns
have utilized dynamic anti-smoking television advertisements and
posters that are both emotive and contain confronting imagery (see
images below) to convey a strong message regarding the serious health
dangers associated with smoking, not ignoring other common practices
such as social smoking. Their straightforward approach is mirrored in
one of their catch phrases, which quite simply states “Stop spending.
Start living”, the direct and serious tone conveying the significance
of the message.

2301ef3da1c1a0216060146c947500fb--advertising-ads-art-photography
Additionally, Tobacco Free Florida exists not only through its
effective advertising campaign, but also as a wealth and variety of
resources for people who want to quit smoking such as their “3 Ways to
Quit”, easily accessible via their website .  A more recent
initiative was that of their Smokers Store (2017), in which items were
priced equivalent to the number of cigarette packets to draw attention
to the amount of money that consumers spend on cigarettes each year.
At the Smokers Store, smokers were confronted with a visualization of
the financial cost of their smoking habit, and not simply on their
health. Items included hiking boots priced at 37 packets of cigarettes
(equivalent to $200) and a tent for 73 packets ($400).

The success of Tobacco Free Florida has seen the rates of smoking
across various demographics in the state decrease, with adult
cigarette smoking rate decreasing from 19.3 percent in 2011 to 16.8
percent in 2013, and mirrored in ages 13-17 from 8.3 percent in 2010
to 4.3 percent in 2014.  This success is attributed to the usage of
“graphic and hard-hitting media techniques” that truly affects
viewers, altering their perceptions and desire to quit smoking. In
this manner, through using a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating
media, readily-available resources for the public as well as
interactive campaigns, they capture the attention of the public and
achieved lower smoking rates in the state of Florida.

1b2be62e9682fb9892f3d650597fbe9d--smokers-why-not

References:

WHO FCTC, 2015, The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: an
overview. Accessed December 2017,
http://www.who.int/fctc/WHO_FCTC_summary_January2015_EN.pdf?ua=1

Tobacco Free Florida, 2017, About Us. Accessed 12 December 2017,
http://tobaccofreeflorida.com/about-us/

Sandu, B, n.d., Remarkable Anti-Smoking Advertising Campaigns – 53
Examples. Design Your Way, Accessed 12 December 2017,
http://www.designyourway.net/blog/inspiration/remarcable-anti-smoking-advertising-campaigns-53-examples/

Rao, S, Kanwal Aslam, S, Zaheer, S & Shafique, K, 2014, Anti-smoking
initiatives and current smoking among 19,643 adolescents in South
Asia: findings from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey. Harm Reduction
Journal, Accessed 12 December 2017,
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3938898/

Micheal Cummings, K, 2002, Programs and policies to discourage the use
of tobacco products. Oncogene, Accessed 12 December 2017,
http://www.nature.com/articles/1205810

Post B: How can we end the smoking epidemic whilst raising money for cancer patients?

“Give up for Good” is a collaborative initiative with creative agency Up & Up and Singapore Cancer Society. This initiative is working towards a smoke-free Singapore, by designing a exchange system where people give up one of their cigarettes for the support of Cancer patients and their families. Each cigarette is valued at 0.60 cents, to which corporates match the value and disrupt necessities to patients. The cigarettes were totalled on the 3rd of December 2016, which was named “Give up for Good Day”. This event and the collection process as a whole, was a success and made the community think about the dangers of smoking and waste of money and resources. However, due to the location of the event being the Bugis shopping district in Singapore limited people were able to attend the event. The would have been a challenging factor, however it effects were spread on social media. By collaborating with Up & Up the initiative has now made collections with a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable company. Although “Give up for Good” was recently launched, these associations will provide a pathway for throughout design exploration.

What made this initiative successful was it understood the psychology of the people evolved. By designing a method that breaks away from traditional usual frightening smoking campaigns. Managing director, Up & Up Anand A Vathiyar states “Give up for Good treats smokers with consideration and engages them directly. It demonstrates the power of choice that smokers have with every stick of cigarette.” (Rao M 2016) This shows the power that this methodology has and the importance that minor challenges have, when working to a smoke-free Singapore. There were not major failures, however some people didn’t want to give up their cigarettes and were somewhat defensive. Even though more cigarettes were collected when expected, this was still a small amount of product/money. Due to the dedication of the volunteers and the ethically sound practices of the organisations evolved, there were no interventions. Singapore as a nation is working towards a more health and environmentally conscious society, which means that a significant amount of its citizens respond well to these design initiatives.

This initiative utilises the benefits of working within a transdisciplinary team. Singapore Cancer Society having working on numerous design initiative in the past such as “Designated smokers areas”and “Ashtray”. Meaning that the organisation knows how Singapore is currently responding better to less graphics methods of communications. By working with Up & Up they combined this knowledge with the agency’s understanding for marketing and education. These skills in correlation with the passion and interpersonal skills of the volunteers, meant that the initiative explored the vast impossibilities and benefits of transdisciplinary design. It follows a bottoms-up approachas it stems from a configurations of quantitative data on smoking and research into how the negative effects of cigarettes could be turned into positive interactions in order to make change. By using an analytical intelligence path, they were able to predict the reactions of the participants. Despite the organisations involved being influential, the initiative would not have been a reality within the support and volunteers within the community, which stems from the same ideologies. This initiative was run by volunteers and sponsors (Citrus Events & Communication, Lotte Pepero, Pokka Singapore, Nicorette and Honestbee), however it can’t be labeled as a not-for-profit as the funding also supports the creative agency evolved and the management team in the Singapore Cancer Society.

info graphics
An info graphic that I created to represent my research on this design initiative

Reference List:

Rao, M. 2016, ‘Singapore cancer society breaks away from the usual scary smoking campaigns’ Marketing-interactive, 06 December, viewed 10 December 2017, <http://www.marketing-interactive.com/singapore-cancer-society-breaks-away-from-the-usual-scary-smoking-campaigns/>.

Give Up for Good 2017, HomePage, viewed 10 December 2017, <http://giveupforgood.sg/>

Research Division, Institute of mental health, 2012 ‘Smoking and nicotine dependence in Singapore: findings from a cross-sectional epidemiology study.’ Ann Acad Med Singapore, vol. 41, iss 8, viewed 10 December 2017, <https://open-access.imh.com.sg/handle/123456789/4572>

Leow, J, 2017 ‘The Challenges, Emotions, Coping and Gains of Family Caregivers for Patients with Advanced Cancer in Singapore: A Qualitative Study.’ Cancer Nursing, vol 40. Iss 1, viewed 10 December 2017 <http://journals.lww.com/cancernursingonline/Abstract/2017/01000/The_Challenges,_Emotions,_Coping,_and_Gains_of.3.aspx>

Kim, J, Cao, X, Meczkowski, E, 2017. ‘Does Stigmatization Motivate People to Quit Smoking? Examining the Effect of Stigmatizing Anti-Smoking Campaigns on Cessation Intention’ vol 0. Iss. 0, viewed 10 December 2017, <http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/ref/10.1080/10410236.2017.1299275?scroll=top>

 

Post B: mPOWER, the Tobacco Control package for countries of all shapes and sizes.

With approximately 1 in 10 adults being killed by smoking worldwide and projections that this could become one in six by 2030, the tobacco epidemic is a global issue that must be addressed sooner rather than later (The World Bank 1999).

As of May 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported the following key facts:

  • Half of the world’s tobacco users die due to tobacco
  • Each year 6 million deaths are caused by direct tobacco use alongside 890 000 other deaths of non-smokers caused by second-hand smoke.
  • Approximately 80% of the global smoker population reside in low to middle-income countries.

(World Health Organisation 2017)

These statistics strongly reinforce the need for initiatives that advocate for greater tobacco control on a global scale. This constitutes (but is not limited to) influencing the behaviour of current and potential users, placing limitations on the tobacco industry and reducing the harmful effects of tobacco products (West 2006).

Introducing MPOWER

MPOWER is an example of a worldwide initiative that has adopted a bottom-up design approach to reduce the demand for tobacco products in each country through implementing six practical, affordable and achievable measures (World Health Organisation 2017). These measures can be altered to suit each country’s needs and has shown promising results since being introduced by WHO in 2008.

So, what are the six magical solutions?

‘MPOWER’ is an analogy for the six following objectives:

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 11.42.50 pm.png

(WHO 2013)

By using these measures in conjunction with one another, all countries can monitor data relating to tobacco and act accordingly, create smoke-free environments, provide health-care systems for support and treatment, educate people about the risks of tobacco, stop tobacco industry giants from further promoting and advertising their deadly products and finally raise taxes to reduce consumption.

With the support of organisations such as Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, both of which also advocate for Tobacco Control, this transdisciplinary program has successfully achieved the following results:

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 11.38.22 pm.png

(WHO 2013)

But what is success without proof?

To put their success into perspective, the success of MPOWER in Turkey is a testament to the program’s unique ability to mould itself to suit a country’s specific needs. As of 2007, Turkey had Europe’s highest rate of smokers with 1 in 3 adults using tobacco. With the help of Turkey’s government, civil society, WHO and other global organisations, the country was the first to achieve the six MPOWER measures at the highest level. By 2012, there was a decline of 13.4% in smokers alongside a decline of second-hand smoke. It then made history by becoming the third European country ban smoking indoors. Turkey’s MPOWER success story strongly emphasises that it is highly possible to live in a world that is tobacco-free.

However, with every success story comes challenges…

Although MPOWER has shown positive results, this program also highlights the issues that arise from implementing tobacco control. Inevitably, there is a conflict of interest between the tobacco industry and public health systems of which WHO requires Party governments to consider when adopting the six measures. This is a challenge that will continue to remain and can only be controlled effectively at a country-level. In acknowledging this, WHO can continue to confidently launch MPOWER despite the issues they may face along the way.

Where to from here?

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 12.18.28 am.png

While some may say that counteracting tobacco in the 21st century may be ‘too little, too late’ (West 2006), we can assume through analysing the WHO’s 2013 MPOWER report that this is not the case. Such initiatives like MPOWER will continue to succeed in battling the global tobacco epidemic and in conjunction with organisations who are actively participating in this movement, an issue that is a worldwide killer is given a powerful voice.

Bibliography

The World Bank 1999, ‘Curbing the epidemic: governments and the economics of tobacco control’, Tobacco Control, vol. 8, pp. 196-201.

West, R. 2006, ‘Tobacco control: present and future’, British Medical Bulletin, vol. 77-78, no. 1, pp 123-136.

World Health Organization 2017, Key facts and findings relating to the MPOWER package, WHO, Geneva, viewed 9 December 2017, < http://www.who.int/tobacco/mpower/facts_findings/en/>

World Health Organization 2017, Tobaccao, WHO, Geneva, viewed 9 December 2017, < http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/>

World Health Organization 2017, MPOWER IN ACTION: Defeating the global tobacco epidemic, WHO, Geneva, viewed 9 December 2017, < http://www.who.int/tobacco/mpower/publications/mpower_2013.pdf?ua=1>

Post B: Fear Factor, The Smoking Edition

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Tobacco addiction is one of the world’s most common health issue. According to Botvin and Eng in 1980, anti-smoking campaigns have always succeeded with young children. This level of effectiveness is most likely due to educational programs that inform them on the consequences and negative impacts of smoking. (Alvaro et al 2009) Another reason why it is effective is because the concept of fear is being implemented into the campaigns itself. “The heightened sense of fear of a particular subject will eventually lead to behaviour change“ (Thompson et al 2009) The direct implementation of fear in anti smoking campaigns has produced reliable results that its use are popularised by other groups attempting to prevent children from smoking in the future. However, is this method really effective to young adults?

The Cancer Society of Finland (CSF) is a charitable organisation and the main private contributor of cancer research in Finland. CSF also engages in movements promoting health towards adults interested in reducing their risk of cancer and health in younger generation, especially in tobacco consumption (Cancer Society of Finland 2016). Thus, their anti-smoking campaigns are often visually appaling

The Voice of Addiction (source: designleak.com, 2017)

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Lungs/ Ashtray (source: coloribus.com, 2017)

White, T et al (2003) believes that fear is not enough to drive change in young adults. Infact, they believe that for fear to flourish, there needs to be a method or solution that allows young adults to avoid the negative consequences. This form of fear-themed campaigns can be seen through one of The Cancer Society of Finland campaigns named ‘Tobacco Body’

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Tobacco body (source: VK | Design & Concept,  2017)

Tobacco Body is an interactive app designed by CSF alongside designer ‘Havas Worldwide – Helsinki’ in 2010. The app is a simple and creatively designed interactive tool that illustrates the contrast between the impacts of smoking towards a smoker and a healthy body. It is a highly versatile product that can be used as an effective educational tool for teachers educating young adults. The app successfully instilled fear on young adults as a way to persuade them to not smoke.

Tobacco Body’s interactive simple swiping feature reveals a healthy smoke-free body and a damaged smoker body which convey a sense of contrast between the two which encourage people to quit smoking. Moreover, the app has been designed with appealing flares and interactive elements complemented with easy navigation and clean template reinforces the success and sense of engagement towards the viewer. Thus, Tobacco Body is an example of an effective fear-themed campaigns as it provides the viewer information towards the health problem that raises due to smoking.

Smoking is still prevalent issue that needs to be constantly addressed. It is crucial to educate the future generation as they are responsible for their own lives and others around them.

 

Reference:

Alvaro, E. M., Burgoon, M., Grandpre, J., Hall, J. H., Miller, C. H. 2009,’ Adolescent Reactance and Anti-Smoking Campaigns: A Theoretical Approach’, Health Communication, vol.15 , no.3 , pp.349.

Cancer Society of Finland. 2016, Cancer Foundation,Finland, viewed on 13 December 2017, <https://www.cancersociety.fi/>.

Cancer Society of Finland. 2010, Tobacco Body, Finland, viewed on 13 December 2017, <http://tobaccobody.fi/>.

Coloribus. 2017, “Lungs / Ashtray” by Bob Helsinki for Cancer Society Of Finland, viewed on 13 December 2017, <https://www.coloribus.com/adsarchive/outdoor/cancer-society-of-finland-lungs-ashtray-14291855/&gt;.

Designleak. 2017, The Voice of Addiction, Finland, viewed on 13 December 2017, <http://www.designleak.com/work/cancer-society-of-finland-the-voice-of-addiction/&gt;

Thompson, L. E., Barnett, J. R., Pearce J. R. 2009, ‘Scared straight? Fear-appeal anti-smoking campaigns, risks, self-efficacy and addiction’ ,Health, Risk & Society, vol. 11 , no. 2 , pp. 182.

VK | Design & Concept. 2017, Tobacco Body, viewed on 13 December 2017, <http://villekovanen.com/portfolio/tobacco-body&gt;.

White, T., Tan, N., Wakefield, M., Hill, D. 2003, ‘Do adult focused anti-smoking campaigns have an impact on adolescents? The case of the Australian National Tobacco Campaign’, Tobacco Control, Vol. 12, no. 2, pp.24 .

 

Post B: ‘Scared Smokeless’

Campaigns for tobacco control have used design as an effective medium in delivering confronting messages about the effects tobacco can have on your health as well as others. But to what extent do these design initiatives have to go to in order to bring awareness? The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) responded by implementing “extensive tobacco regulatory strategies, including the enactment of comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship activities. Such bans have been shown to be effective in reducing tobacco consumption, both in developed countries and in developing countries” (Kasza, K. et al 2011) It seems that being passive about this problem isn’t how some design agencies decide to solve the problem; which in turn leads to very provoking designs.

Let’s take a look at one of the most famous shock advertising anti-smoking campaigns; the 2007 ‘Get Unhooked’ designed by the advertising agency Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy in London. Funded by the UK Department of Health, this ad was a series of confronting images and videos of people with fishhooks in their mouths in which a clear comparison is drawn with the addictive nature of tobacco and encouraging smokers to quit. The controversial nature of this design initiative was hugely successful; becoming “one of the most famous advertising campaigns during the entire year, attracting a whopping 90% awareness among smokers and the highest ever volume of response from any anti-smoking campaign previously run by the Department of Health.” (Haynes 2012) despite it being recalled due to the 774 complaints it received with its shocking and graphic nature. This “five-week campaign sparked hundreds of complaints from people who found the images offensive, frightening and distressing, particularly to children.” (BBC News) yet the Department of Health argues against the Advertising Standards Authority in believing that the campaign helped to deliver a clear message to smokers.

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According to BBC News, the Department of Health said an “anti-smoking helpline and website had been contacted more than 820,000 times during the Get Unhooked campaign” and added “that he believed the adverts had achieved the right balance between raising awareness of the dangers of smoking and its addictive nature, with the need to do so responsibly and in line with industry codes.” (BBC News) The transdisciplinary creation of this campaign that was developed “with health professionals…had not meant to cause distress”. (BBC News) yet its success supports the idea that “Antismoking messages that produce strong emotional arousal, particularly personal stories or graphic portrayals of the health effects of smoking, tend to perform well; they are perceived to be more effective than others, are more memorable, and generate more thought and discussion.” (Durkin J.S et al 2009).

 (Jaramillo 2007)
 (TheAdMonkey 2007)

Likewise, Laura Wallis in her article ‘Scared Smokeless: Graphic Antismoking Ads Increase Quitting Attempts’ claims that “According to one new study, ads that evoke strongly negative emotions like fear or sadness, or highly graphic images of diseased lungs and other smoking-related illness, are more effective than other types of ads in getting people to try to quit.” This is reinforced by the New York Adult Tobacco Survey which analysed 8,780 current smokers over the age of 18 (2003-2010) and found that “greater exposure to highly emotional or graphic ads to be positively associated with quitting attempts in the previous 12 months, whereas exposure to ads that focused on advice on quitting, offered encouragement to quit, or highlighted the dangers of secondhand smoke had no such association.” (Wallis 2013) Indeed, “some experts have criticized fear-based anti-smoking campaigns, saying they go too far or that their short-term benefits fade once their audiences become inured to the images, but the evidence in this study makes a strong counterargument that such ads do in fact work.” (Wallis 2013)

Ultimately, it seems that these type of ‘in your face’ design initiatives are able to grab people’s attention despite its gruesome nature, as the ‘Get Unhooked’ campaign’s “phenomenal success amongst its target audience…went on to win Marketing Week’s Best Campaign of the Year award in 2008.” (Haynes 2012) So who’s had the last laugh now?

Reference List:

BBC News. 2007. Hooked Smoking Ads ‘broke rules’, UK, viewed 14 December 2017, <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6658335.stm&gt;

Durkin, S.J., Biener, L & Wakefield, A. M. ‘Effects of Different Types of Antismoking Ads on Reducing Disparities in Smoking Cessation Among Socioeconomic Subgroups.’ American Journal of Public Health, vol 99, no. 12, pp. 2217-2223.

Georghiou, N. 2007, Get Unhooked, adeevee, viewed 14 December 2017, <http://www.adeevee.com/2007/01/the-department-of-health-anti-smoking-message-right-hooked-woman-left-hooked-print/&gt;

Haynes, R. 2012. Design Insight: The most shocking anti-smoking posters ever made!, solopressblog, weblog, viewed 14 December 2017, <https://www.solopress.com/blog/print-inspiration/design-insight-the-most-shocking-anti-smoking-posters-ever-made/&gt;

Jaramillo, R. 2007, get unhookedvideo recording, YouTube, viewed 14 December 2017, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMRFIU_sADI&gt;

Kasza, K. A., Hyland, A. J., Brown, A., Siahpush, M., Yong, H.-H., McNeill, A. D., Cummings, K. M. “The Effectiveness of Tobacco Marketing Regulations on Reducing Smokers’ Exposure to Advertising and Promotion: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol 8, no. 2, pp. 321-340.

TheAdMonkey. 2007, NHS anti smoking – hooked, video recording, YouTube, viewed 14 December 2017, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anFK9SA5kKw&gt;

Wallis, L. “Scared Smokeless: Graphic Antismoking Ads Increase Quitting Attempts”, The American Journal of Nursing, vol. 113, no. 2, pp. 16.

 

 

[Post B] Stop Before You Start

(Image Source: Stop Before You Start)

New Zealand’s Stop Before You Start campaign is a project with roots in decades of government anti-smoking messaging, and an important step in moving toward a smoke free New Zealand in 2025.

Decreasing the smoking rate has been a challenge for countries around the globe since tobacco was scientifically proven to have links with cancers, heart disease and other health risks in 1954 (American Cancer Society 2014). In order to understand why the Stop Before You Start campaign is so notable for New Zealand, first we must skim through history of anti-smoking action. Cigarette advertising was banned in New Zealand in 1990 (Gendall et al 2016). Shortly after that, the first anti-smoking commercial was released. Over the past three decades, these campaigns have progressed from targeting the larger smoker audience to narrower demographics as the smoking rate decreased (Gendall et al 2016).

The economic principle of abatement justifies the shift. It supposes that the longer an intervention goes on, the more expensive it will be to stop another person stop smoking. Early interventions might have lowered smoking use in some categories, but those who are glued to the cigarettes are going to need a lot more targeted attention than television commercials.

Reaching a point of saturation in adults provided a problem and opportunity for the Health Protection Authority; while youth smoking was decreasing, there was still a high rate of young people trying cigarettes and these people were now the key source of new smokers. (Li et al. 2016)

Thus, they had a user for whom they could begin designing their intervention. HPA started to engage with the 14-15 year old demographic to understand their exposure to cigarettes. It became clear that young adults were anxious about what their future held, that they were heavily influenced by friends and were beginning to be exposed to cigarettes in a social setting. (Li et al. 2016)

The creative solution that encompassed all these insights became the Stop Before You Start campaign. The campaign was centred around an anti-smoking mascot, (similar to a popular solution proposed by John Oliver), who’s characteristics and mannerisms were gross and unappealing. As relationships are a big issue in adolescence, HPA decided to use the mascot to satirise the relationship that someone develops with cigarettes (HPA 2016). All clips were filmed in locations where young people are likely to be exposed to cigarettes, which would trigger memories of the advertisements when they reengaged that environment (HPA 2016). Casting the actors as young adults envisaged a realistic, undesirable future for current teenagers (HPA 2016).

Gather results from the campaign, HPA found that the it was a resounding success. 85% of their demographic recalled the advertisements, 45% regretted taking up smoking after watching it, 33% make an effort not to smoke socially and the sentiment that smoking is ‘disgusting’ in the age group rose from 65% to 74% (Li et al. 2016). But as with any design solution in a complex problem space, there is no silver bullet solution. Anti-smoking messaging will need to continue, amongst a raft of other efforts to make New Zealand smoke free by 2025.

References

American Cancer Society, 2014, The study that helped spur the US stop smoking movement, American Cancer Society, viewed 12 December 2017, <https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/the-study-that-helped-spur-the-us-stop-smoking-movement.html&gt;

Gendall, P., Hoek, J., Richard, E., Glantz, S., 2016 ‘Effect of exposure to smoking in movies on young adult smoking in New Zealand’, PLOS One.

Li, J., Guiney, H., Walton, D., 2016, ‘Evidence for a young adult-targeted tobacco control campaign stimulation cessation-related responses among adult smokers and recent quitters’, New Zealand Medical Journal, vol. 129.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, 2015, Tobacco, video recording, Youtube, viewed 13 December 2017, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UsHHOCH4q8&gt;

HPA, 2016, Stop Before You Start, HPA, viewed 13 December 2017, <https://www.hpa.org.nz/stop-before-you-start&gt;

Post B: Tobacco Control- From Policies to Visual Statements

the-size-of-the-worlds-smoking-habit_5075f06ad143b_w1500
The size of the world smoking habit. (Visual.ly, 2017) 

The production and consumption of tobacco across the world has been restricted over the years due to health awareness, public law placement and increased taxes, and although the percentage of smokers has significantly dropped over the years, the issues that stem from the tobacco industry are still highly prevalent within society today.

Tobacco control is dominantly focused on individual health risks, however all phases of cigarette production, from leaf cultivation through cigarette manufacture to transportation also contribute to greenhouse gas emission responsible for global climate change (Jacobs, 2000). FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco control) published a series of reports on the environmental impacts, considering this not only as a health concern but as an environmental justice issue (Lecours, 2017).

Tobacco control is considered effective in countries that increase costs and taxes, taking inflation into consideration. In Australia, the federal excise on tobacco is adjusted twice each year in line with average weekly earnings (Gostin, 2017). This is designed to either encourage quitting rather than switching to cheaper brands, and to reduce the amount of tobacco consumed by those who do not quit (Jha, Peto, 2014). This is highly effective in low to middle income areas, however visual and emotional reminders are still necessary to address all classes. An example of this was the banning of original tobacco packaging in Australia, being replaced by confronting images of the health risks that come with smoking.

File photo of a man smoking a cigarette in front of a vending machine selling cigarettes of Japan Tobacco Inc and other cigarette companies in Tokyo
A man smoking in front of a cigarette vending machine in Tokyo. (Kok, 2017) 

In countries like Japan, where smoking is popular, cheap and legal inside a variety of venues, methods of tobacco control are slightly different. In 2000, Hyogo Prefecture in Japan launched an anti-SHS initiative, including a policy for smoking separation in all public places and workplaces (Yamada, 2015). This includes designated ‘smoking zones’ on the street and sometimes in booths, all of which the public are respectful of.

smoking campaign
Smoking Kids- by Artist Frieke Janssens 

Although policies and laws encourage smokers to stop, sometimes a strong poetic message or visualisation of the issue itself is more compelling to the public. An example of this is the somewhat controversial photographic project ‘Smoking Kids’ by artist Frieke Janssens, which was inspired by the famous Youtube video of a two year old Indonesian toddler chain smoking. The series of images portrays fifteen children between the age of four and nine posing in a startling way in front of the camera, each smoking a cigarette, cigar or pipe (Janssens, 2013).  The subjects looked as if they stepped right out of a 1960’s TV show, which adds a modestly theatrical, retro quality but also something whimsical and unreal to the images (Woensel, 2014). These images strike the viewer because the concept of smoking is something we naturally detach from youth and innocence, but why should we value our lives any less?

 

References:

Visual.ly. (2017). The Size of the World’s Smoking Habit | Visual.ly. [online] Available at: https://visual.ly/community/infographic/health/size-worlds-smoking-habit [Accessed 7 Dec. 2017].

Salmoral, J. (2012). [online] Smoking Area Tokyo, Japan. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/juanillooo/7404611358/in/photostream/ [Accessed 5 Dec. 2017].

Kok, L. (2017). Processed meat linked to colon cancer: 7 things to know. [online] The Straits Times. Available at: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/processed-meat-linked-to-colon-cancer-7-things-to-know [Accessed 6 Dec. 2017].

Lecours, N., Almeida, G., Abdallah, J. and Novotny, T. (2012). Environmental health impacts of tobacco farming: a review of the literature: Table 1. Tobacco Control, 21(2), pp.191-196.

Weeks, S. (2001). Tobacco Control in Developing Countries: Prabhat Jha and Frank Chaloupka (eds) Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000 490 pp. ISBN 0-19-263246-9 (pb). Health Education Research, 16(3), pp.384-385.

Gostin, L., Magnusson, R., Krech, R., Patterson, D., Solomon, S., Walton, D., Burci, G., Cathaoir, K., Roache, S. and Kieny, M. (2017). Advancing the Right to Health—The Vital Role of Law. American Journal of Public Health, 107(13), pp.201-215.

Jha, P. Peto, R. (2014). Global effects of smoking, of quitting, and of taxing tobacco. New England Journal of Medicinepp. 60-68.

Yamada, K., Mori, N., Kashiwabara, M., Yasuda, S., Horie, R., Yamato, H., Gar&ccedil;on, L. and Armada, F. (2015). Industry Speed Bumps on Local Tobacco Control in Japan? The Case of Hyogo. Journal of Epidemiology, 25(7), pp.496-504.