Emotional Appeal in Anti-Smoking Ads

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In today’s society, smoking is a major cause of concern in regards to health. Since the 1990s, to reduce the use of tobacco products, media efforts have been used frequently and effectively. Most anti-smoking ads use emotional appeal by using personal stories or guilt in hopes of making smokers think twice about their tobacco addiction. When using personal testimonies, ads play on people’s fear of the negative health impacts of smoking such as cancer, asthma, emphysema, and death. One ad currently being played on television features a woman who states, “Smoking gave me throat cancer at 39. Now I breathe through a hole in my throat and need this machine to speak.” Seeing someone like that is hard to ignore. Who would want, not only something like that to happen to them, but to knowingly cause it by choosing to smoke? First, the ad displays a beautiful, young woman. Then the woman, looking sickly and almost bald, proceeds to give “tips” on getting dressed in the morning, including putting on a wig and dentures in her mouth. This should be a good warning for women, whom mostly fear losing their hair and teeth. Lastly, she puts in her hands-free device, which helps her to speak without having to hold her thumb over the hole in her throat, and covers it up with a scarf. Some people may think this ad and ones like it are too graphic. But in reality, they work. These warnings, in order to be effective, sometimes need to be unpleasant and a bit shocking so as to command attention, convey consequences, and stimulate and evoke

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