The irony here is that we really don’t seem to heed any of these warnings.
We have all seen those less than pretty advertisements before any movie screening. “Smoking is injurious to health. Smoking causes cancer,” are words that we are all familiar with and the gruesome images that compliment them are unforgettable. The irony here is that we really don’t seem to heed any of these warnings. We spoke to people who tell us why they think the adverts don’t work as intended.
Inspite of there being a large awareness of the dangers of smoking, the trend to pick up smoking continues to rise among young teenagers and college youth. Inam Wani, a techie says, “The scary graphics don’t have a necessary impact because at the end of the day, these cigarettes are still available. If they are injurious then they need to be banned or made illegal. Also, in India cigarettes are easily available while in countries like the USA, you would have to purchase a whole pack.” The technical quality of these adverts are rather poor and not in the least bit appealing, like advertisements should be.
Lalawmpuii Chawngthu, an English literature graduate says, “Smokers are already aware of these consequences. Since these advertisements are government issues, perhaps due to lack of budget, their quality is very low on all aspects to be effective.”
As a community, we generally don’t pay much heed to these warnings. Priyanka Jha, a final year psychology student says, “We generally don’t take any warnings seriously. If there are signs stating that you must not stick bills here or must not urinate here, we do it anyway. Youngsters pick up the habit because there is a lot of peer pressure and the need to feel accepted is huge.” The “cool” factor unfortunately still exists and there seems to be no qualms about reducing or being noticed in public with cigarettes.
The approach to quitting the smoking habit is in itself quite wrong. Scaring anyone into believing the consequences don’t work, as only personal experience can have a large impact. Dr Sudhansubalu Sahu, a sociologist says, “Smoking is an addictive habit and even though they are aware they cannot do anything about it. It’s easily available and affordable to the young generation. Until an individual decides for themselves to quit smoking, I don’t really see any way that it would stop. It’s not that they don’t have an awareness or education regarding this habit. Maybe if we could help or inform them early on, then when they start this habit it may be easier. Without this I don’t see any possibilities.”