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Effects of active and passive smoking

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 3272 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Social marketer’s goal is to inform consumers of the ill effects of active and passive smoking and initiate smokers to ponder about the habit and try quitting (Walsh, Hassan, Shiu, Andrews, Hastings, 2010). Social marketers segment their target market into homogeneous groups, that is, its primary audience in anti-smoking campaigns are smokers (Walsh, et al, 2010). Anti-smoking campaigns focus on providing general information and guidelines about smoking (Paek, Bae, Hove, Yu, 2011).

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Since customers are taking a more substantive role, company managers are looking for creative and innovative approaches to help form long term customer relations; social marketing may be the solution (Katsioloudes, Grant, Mckechnie, 2007). Social marketing emphasises the company’s reputation by supporting social causes and helps differentiate the company’s offerings by standing for something beyond simply making a profit (Katsoloudes, Grant, Mckechnie, 2007). Social marketing is defined; application of marketing principles and exchange to social issues (Domegan, 2008).

The question guiding the study is: how effective is social marketing, in South Africa, regarding the anti-smoking campaigns? The objectives are; potential benefits of such campaigns, limitations as well as strategies used in both developed and developing countries. A qualitative research method will be adopted. In qualitative research, explanations and interpretations are based on past experiences, values and their present context (Kapelianis, 1999). Therefore, the study will look at multiple perspectives in order to fully understand the theory of knowledge gained thus far with regard to social marketing’s anti social campaigns (Smith, 1996).


Societal marketing is concerned with rules and regulations, that is the protection of consumers from the negative side of the marketplace and is not involved in luring consumers (Andreasen, 1994). However, societal marketing is the umbrella term under which many marketing strategies lie, those include; Green Marketing, Cause-Related Marketing, NGO Marketing, Responsible Marketing and Social Marketing (Marketing slides, 2011).

Kotler and Zaltman offered the very first and formal definition of social marketing: Social marketing is designing, implementing and controlling of campaigns to influence the suitability of social ideas and involve considerations of price, promotion, place and marketing research (Andreasen, 1994). The most useful definition; the application of commercial marketing theories to the gathering, developing, implementing and analysing of campaigns made to change the voluntary behaviour of consumers, improve their welfare and society (Stead, Gordon, Angus, & McDermott 2006; Raftopoulou, Hogg, 2010). Therefore, from these definitions, social marketing is shifting the attitudes, thinking and behaviours of consumers improving the welfare of society (Andreasen, 1994).

Smoking may start at adolescents (Hamilton, Hassan, 2010). Smoking results in both personal and collective harm (Hamilton, Hassan, 2010). With regard to personal harm, smoking is undertaken in social places, thus health risks to the consumer as well as the public; and with regards the collective harm, smokers are faced by negative remarks made by the public, stigmatization from smokers and others (Hamlton, Hassan, 2010).

Today, anti-smoking campaigns form part of the media (Wolburg, 2004). Many of these anti-smoking messages focus on the risks both personal and social (Wolburg, 2008). When targeted at youth non-smokers anti-smoking messages have proven to be successful in decreasing smoking rates (Wolburg, 2008). Public education and professional cessation services have been combined with limitations on tobacco marketing (these include; health warnings on every pack, price increases and increased regulation at point of sale); the result has been a steady decline in smoking prevalence (Hasting, Sugden, Grindle, 2011).

The application of theories and models guide the implementation of anti-smoking prevention and cessation strategies (Stead, Gordon, Angus, McDermott, 2006).

Theories and their Definitions

The most important theories applied to anti-smoking messages are; health belief model, social cognitive theory, theory of reasoned action/ theory of planned behaviour and trans-theoretical model (Paek, Bae, Hove, Yu, 2011).

The first model describes behaviours by paying attention to individual’s feelings and values (Paek et al, 2011). Six determinants that facilitate healthy behaviours: perceived propensity, relentlessness, payback, barriers, self-efficacy (defined as an individuals belief they plan, implement and achieve goals); and cues to take action (Paek, Bae, Hove, Yu, 2011). Non-smoking campaigns may result positively from this model since knowledge of the above inform marketers developing intervention strategies, that is, the model assists communicators in understanding their target audiences feeling of susceptibility to smoking, their feelings with regard to the importance of such behavioural risks and if informing a better action reduces these risks at the same time as bringing suitable benefits (Paek et al, 2011).

Social cognitive theory describes the methods with which individuals learn behaviours and also helps form the basis of non-smoking campaigns (Stead et al, 2006). The basic premise individuals learn from personal as well as observational past behaviours (Paek et al, 2011). It emphasises relations between individuals’ cognitions and behaviour, through self-efficacy and response-efficacy (Stead et al, 2006). Social cognitive theory applied in interventions may improve social campaigns by emphasising healthy and unhealthy behaviours; in particular, it guides campaigns that emphasize behavioural support, psychological coping, observational learning and self-control (Paek et al, 2011).

The theory of reasoned action and planned behaviour explain the relationships connecting behaviours and ideas, attitudes and intention (Paek et al, 2011). That is, behaviours rely on intentions determined by processing the results and how family and friends perceive those behavioural results (Paek et al, 2011). Non-smoking campaigns developed by these theories communicate ideas and develop favourable feelings toward behaviours by indicating resulting benefits.

The trans-theoretical model proposes individuals modify behaviour following five stages of action (Paek et al, 2011). The first stage is pre-thought, contemplation, planning, execution and continuation. Anti-smoking campaigns may benefit from using this model, as it assists in customizing targeting of individuals at each stage of action (Paek et al, 2011).

The theory utilized mainly; health beliefs model, however, the trans-theoretical model is useful with developing campaigns (Paek et al, 2011). Therefore, in order to develop an efficient and effective campaign, all four theories and models should be implemented into the intervention strategy (Paek et al, 2011).

Literature Review of Anti-smoking campaigns

Marketing socially has been on the rise in both developing and developed countries (Stead, Gordon, Angus & McDermott, 2006). Majority of the strategies are theory-driven interventions consisting of interactive classroom curricula (Stead et al, 2006). Several of these intervention strategies were multi-component, that is, these interventions use multiple channels and activities targeted at the individuals, their family, peer groups as well as the social environment, which shapes smoking norms (Stead et al, 2006).

Smoking restrictions at home can lead to an increase in quit attempts and may lead to the cessation of smoking (Hacker, Wigg, 2010). Salford’s tobacco control strategy, i.e. Salford, Greater Manchester, UK, was a four-year plan to tackle smoking in the city (Hacker, Wigg, 2010). One of its strategic priorities was to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke at home (Hacker, Wigg, 2010). Neighbourhood renewal funds were used to develop the Smoke-free Homes Project (Hacker, Wigg, 2010). The project targeted parents of young children and promoted one of three smoke-free promises. A gold promise made, meant keeping the whole house smoke-free; a silver promise made, meant allocating one room in the house as a smoking-only room; and a bronze promise, never to smoke in the presence of children (Hacker, Wigg, 2010). Emphasis was made that individuals making the promise, made it to themselves, to protect their friends and family (Hacker, Wigg, 2010). The Smoke-free Homes project was delivered by locals and included a wide range of target groups, namely older people, those with respiratory problems and parents with younger children (Hacker, Wigg, 2010). Advisors contacted silver and bronze promise makers by telephone to discuss upgrading their promise levels (Hacker, Wigg, 2010). Those advisors were well-trained on stopping smoking and smoking cessation services (Hacker, Wigg, 2010). Individuals who agreed to make a smoke-free promise were sent “goodie-bags” which included information about the Salford Stop Smoking Service as well as a free home fire safety check from the fire department (Hacker, Wigg, 2010). The project’s results were successful; in getting smokers to quit or smoke only in certain rooms or not at all in front of children and it reduced the number of cigarettes people smoked (Hacker, Wigg, 2010). Problems encountered by the advisors were that residents of Salford were reluctant to supply telephone numbers thus failing to encourage silver and bronze promise makers to upgrade their promise levels (Hacker, Wigg, 2010)

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The Guernesy Adolescent Smoke-free policy (GASP), try providing the youth smoke-free education in the hopes of reducing smoking among them (Amey, 2010). Many of the children started smoking prior to adolescents, therefore, GASP’s goal was to get involved with the youth to prevent them from experimental smoking and developing a tendency (Amey, 2010). Smoke-free lessons given at all schools, which emphasised factors related to smoking; smoking ingredients, risks related, marketing strategies and child labour linked with tobacco growing (Amey, 2010). The youth proclaimed that their key resource for smoking related knowledge was GASP (Amey, 2010). Children with already developed non-smoking attitudes were open to smoke-free messages and therefore able to resist temptation upon reaching adolescents (Amey, 2010). However, the parents were in need of education with regard to the dangers of smoking to themselves and to their children, as well as, address parents knowledge and behaviour (Amey, 2010).

The American legacy foundation funds what is known as the “truth” campaign (Wolburg, 2004). This intervention is directed at preventing teens from smoking (Wolburg, 2004). Adverts provide the youth with information about smoking and marketing strategies (Wolburg, 2004). The advertisements resulted in a reduction of youth tobacco consumption rates (Wolburg, 2004). However, vengeful smoking was a key response, among annoyance and dislike, to these adverts (Wolburg, 2004). What worked for the youth did not among adult smokers (Wolburg, 2004). Therefore, new intervention campaigns must be developed for targeting both smokers and non-smokers as opposed to just one campaign targeted to al (Wolburg, 2004).

The European unions “HELP-for a life without tobacco” campaign main form of communication was broadcasted ads using the national languages of each Member State (Walsh et al, 2010). Its goals include emphasising the results of tobacco consumption both personally and socially, persuading reflection of behaviour and smoking cessation (Walsh et al, 2010). HELP also emphasise informing of the risks of smoking and making clear the behaviours undertaken to mitigate these effects (Walsh, 2010). This campaign was targeted to a variety in every member state including both smokers and anti-smokers (Walsh et al, 2010). The HELP campaign main themes were developing a smoke-free way of life, assist users to quit and decrease effects on non-smokers (Walsh et al, 2010). A persuasive campaign was adopted, however, it was found not to be useful in traditional states (Walsh et al, 2010). Customizing the campaign, directed at youth smokers may be needed (Walsh et al, 2010). Tobacco consumers had well-established feelings which made them opposed to the attempts of the HELP campaign (Walsh et al, 2010). The act of smoking generated feelings of shame and embarrassment (Hamilton, Hassan, 2010). It was found that tobacco consumers may use non-users as a source of motivation (Hamilton, Hassan, 2010).

In Australia tobacco consumption have reduced mainly because of health related concerns and the progressively unfriendly environment (Kropp, Lavack, Holden, 1999). However, smoking has increased among the youth (Kropp, Lavack, Holden, 1999). For adult smokers, peer pressure persuades cessation as opposed to consumption (Kropp, Lavack, Holden, 1999). Smoking bans have been placed in the place of work, public places, restaurants and bars (Kropp, Lavack, Holden, 1999). Smoking in college students is a dangerous behaviour undertaken among others (Kropp, Lavack, Holden, 1999). Smokers take up the habit with information of all the related harm and despite negative attitudes to smoking (Kropp, Lavack, Holden, 1999). These bans resulted in a declined rate in smoking in Australia (Kropp, Lavack, Holden, 1999).

Brazil outlawed all forms of cigarette promotion and advertising, except for point of sale display and promotion (Tuma, 2007). Tobacco descriptions, such as mild and light, were forbidden and restrictions placed on smoking in certain public places (Tuma, 2007). Each cigarette package must provide a telephone number where smokers can get advice on quitting and learn reasons why they should quit (Tuma, 2007). The most notable regulation, are the graphic images pictured on the packaging, illustrating some of the health affects of smoking (Tuma, 2007). Also, tobacco companies have to regularly rotate these images in order to avoid smokers becoming immune to them (Tuma, 2007). Many of these control measures that Brazil laid out have proven to be successful in smoking cessation (Tuma, 2007). From the above reviews factors that affect behaviour change may be noted.

Application of Social Marketing’s anti-smoking campaign in South Africa

South Africa have not experienced declining tobacco consumption rates (Kropp, Lavack, Holden, 1999). For the application of anti-smoking campaigns, and social marketing; in South Africa, to be effective marketers may need to combine the campaign with comprehensive tobacco control programmes (Gutierrez, 2008). Smoking cessation messages may be most effective in environments which aim to make smoking less environmentally and socially accepted (Gutierrez, 2008). Multiple audiences, communication methods, and messages should be used to reach smokers (Gutierrez, 2008). Anti-smoking campaign managers may be more successful when they target smokers, non-smokers, adult or young, with messages that inform the target audience of the health implications of smoking, provides information on how to quit and support for those already attempting to quit (Gutierrez, 2008). Messages need to be delivered across a variety of channels, such as television; radio; billboards; online sites and outdoor advertisements, and should be frequent enough to build awareness and change attitudes, beliefs and essentially behaviours among smokers (Gutierrez, 2008).

In order to apply successful campaigns in South Africa, anti-smoking campaigns must be part of a comprehensive approach to reduce smoking rates, be sustained for long periods to have an impact, it is important that the campaign is grounded in research and pre-tested, must understand the target audience and be consumer-oriented, and be professional yet creative (Gutierrez, 2008).

A limitation to implementing successful campaigns in South Africa may be the lack of household support, financial resources provided by the government and the lack of bans on smoking in public places (Gutierrez, 2008) (O’Shaughnessy, 1996). Anti-consumption messages may not be compatible against product advertisements on television, radio and thus may not have an affect on smokers (Wolburg, 2001). Therefore the time and energy expanded and money spent may provide more potential, if redirected at enforcing regulatory laws or used to produce inter-personal and direct education messages (Wolburg, 2001).

Challenges that may be faced in implementing successful anti-smoking campaigns are the limited funds available to successfully implement these programmes, campaigns failing to provide ways to quit, and lack of insight into the target audiences, in terms cultural diversity, demographics; such as income, gender and age, lifestyles, values, beliefs and assumptions (Wolburg 2008; Macchiette, Roy 1994). Agencies carrying out social marketing campaigns may also lack the financial resources to successfully research the market and develop targeting techniques that relate to the different groups of consumers (Walsh, Hassan, Shiu, Andrews, Hastings, 2010). Smoking in South Africa may vary according to culture, religion, disposable income and level of educations. Smoking is found to be high among lower educated, income and social status (Kropp, Lavack, Holden, 1999).

Disclosing an organisations social responsibility may result in benefits to the organization in terms of brand awareness, brand loyalty and better reputation (Sheikh, Beise-Zee, 2011). Social marketing programmes may benefit individuals as well as society (Andreasen, 1994). The significant contribution of social marketing campaign’s solutions provided to social problems and the improvement of wellbeing may be the ultimate potential of implementing social marketing campaigns in South Africa (Raftopoulou, Hogg, 2010).


Marketing socially is a beneficial approach for smoking cessation campaigns as findings in the review suggest (Stead et al, 2006). It may be helpful among variety of unhealthy behaviours, such as preventing non-smokers and children from smoking, helping smokers consume fewer cigarettes and assisting smoker’s in quitting (Stead et al, 2006). For social marketing campaigns to be effective, the marketer may need to segment and target a range of groups, using multiple channels based on these segments demographics in order to change the voluntary behaviours of these consumers (Stead et al, 2006).

However, the reviews often give social marketing a variety of definitions, so much so that there is an absence of an accepted operational definition (Stead et al, 2006). However, overall, literature reviews have provided sufficient evidence indicating that interventions made utilizing social marketing principles are useful as majority of smoking interventions aimed at children and adolescents were successful, for adult smoking cessation, bans on smoking in restaurants, the workplace and bars, resulted in a decline in the amount of cigarettes consumed by smokers as well as the cessation of smoking (Stead et al, 2006). Therefore, social marketing may be effective in smoking cessation in South Africa.


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