My grandma smoked until she was 96 and she barely even caught a cold until the day she died in her sleep.
Obstetricians advise women to stop smoking ‘to avoid harming their baby’ may face the rebuttal
My sister is a chain smoker and she gave birth to 3.8kg baby!
General practitioners advise a parent about the dangers of passive smoking may be dismissed with
I never smoke in doors.
Increasing motivation in the hope of changing behaviour is a very hard to achieve. Everyday dozens of men and women will get behind the wheel of a car intoxicated despite dire warnings. Hundreds of informed pregnant women will continue to smoke cigarettes and intelligent teenagers will expose themselves to the sun until their skin peels.
The most effective call to action relates to something people already want. They offer something affordable and speak to something the person already believes. A seductive:
In reality not every life time cigarette smoker will develop lung cancer, in fact most won’t. Not every woman who smokes will have a ‘small for dates’ baby. Not every sun burnt teenager faces the prospect of a malignant melanoma. Unfortunately when people want something, a sun tan, to ride home in their own car after party or to continue a bad habit they chose to believe the facts that support their view. The job of the innovator is to make the messages about less risky life style choices personalised, offer something that seems easily attained and resonate with what that person believes. Each person with whom we wish to communicate speaks a different language and has different ideas, concerns and expectations. We also do well to remember that the choice is theirs to make. We sincerely hope that they are not among the unfortunate few who might suffer the bad outcome that we seek for them to avoid. Just because some smokers don’t develop lung cancer it doesn’t mean that none do.
Picture by Kelly Sue DeConnick