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.

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.



WHO FCTC, 2015, The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: an
overview. Accessed December 2017,

Tobacco Free Florida, 2017, About Us. Accessed 12 December 2017,

Sandu, B, n.d., Remarkable Anti-Smoking Advertising Campaigns – 53
Examples. Design Your Way, Accessed 12 December 2017,

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,

Micheal Cummings, K, 2002, Programs and policies to discourage the use
of tobacco products. Oncogene, Accessed 12 December 2017,

2 thoughts on “POST B: Tobacco Free Florida

  1. I too am of the believer that the only way to deter people from smoking is through grotesque imagery of the harsh realities smoking causes. I believe that Tobacco Free Florida has helped to decrease the adult cigarette smoking rate in that state from 19.3 percent in 2011 to 16.8 percent in 2013 because confronting imagery, like seen in plain packaging in Australia was enough to put me off smoking too.

  2. This is a really strong article with a lot of data to back up your statements. This was an interesting read for me as I haven’t looked into tobacco free campaigning in America much and have instead focused my attention on Asian countries where the costs sit very low, as I feel the point of affordability is what keeps people smoking. This clip is really confronting as it makes us realise how much people really do spend on a useless activity and by putting the issue into perspective it is a lot more effective to the viewers and smokers themselves. I also think the choice of imagery here is really effective because it personalises the issue and creates a story that we can all relate to.

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