Thanks to our partners at Lifebroker, TBS looks at 50 years of the anti-smoking campaign, and how quitting early can be a healthy decision not only for your lungs.
It’s not unreasonable to expect that a committed worldwide campaign against a product proven to do awful things to people’s health should succeed pretty quickly. Fifty years of the worldwide anti-smoking campaign has had a considerable impact on smoking numbers but there still remains a way to go.
When serious anti-smoking campaigning got under way in the UK during the ’60s it was met with howls of derision, outrage and legal threats. Smokers thought it absurd to claim that a long-accepted consumer product like cigarettes could be a serious health hazard. The tobacco industry made the predictable forecast that the whole thing would go up in smoke.
But then the anti-smoking campaign changed strategy. Instead of denouncing cigarettes as a health risk it started characterising them as a social liability. One memorable television commercial showed a glamorous couple kissing passionately in the back row of a cinema only for the man to pull back suddenly, look at his smoker girlfriend, and utter with obvious distaste “Ugh!”
The impact on attitudes, especially among young people, was dramatic. Suddenly smoking began to lose its social caché and peer pressure to smoke began to water down.
Then Yul Brynner appeared in a stunning anti-smoking television campaign in the US which was produced prior to his death from lung cancer but not shown until after it. Another campaign of the same era, however, had markedly greater success in changing attitudes to smoking. It featured a commercial starring Brooke Shields at her most glamorous. She pointedly ignored a group of handsome smokers preferring instead to kiss a nerdy non-smoker and followed this up by seductively affirming she could never kiss a man who smokes.
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Initial anti-smoking attitudes in the US and the UK were therefore built on the back of social sensitivities rather than dire threats. This led to greater community acceptance that smokers were at risk of health problems as serious as lungfuls of tar. It also led to effective anti-smoking campaigns in countries such as Australia.
Governments have even been moved to put their tobacco excise at risk, adjusting it to make cigarette pricing more prohibitive, banning smoking in some public places and legislating packaging which informs customers they are buying a product with the potential to cause irreparable damage to their health.
The anti-smoking campaign has demonstrated that neither people nor businesses readily surrender their own interests in the interest of the community but in such cases persuasion works better than threats. The NSW Government and greyhound racing come to mind.
While the war against tobacco is still not won there are clear signs that smoking is progressively losing social acceptance and anti-smoking has become politically correct. However, as long as a high number of people still persist in filling their lungs with a proven carcinogen the challenge remains.
It is encouraging therefore to note initiatives such as Hong Kong Airport corralling smokers in cabins and companies like Lifebroker who highlight the positive insurance benefits to customers who kick the habit. Companies that fully understand the nuances that go alongside the social impact of quitting smoking have a strong opportunity to connect with their customers and provide opportunities to increase incentives while not limiting their customers’ social worth. Earlier this year, Lifebroker discussed the research that found men and women who quit smoking by age 40 potentially can reduce their risk of smoking-associated illnesses and even death, by 90 percent.
Lifebroker compare the life insurance policies of leading life insurers in Australia, and have a solid understanding of the complicated needs of both smokers and indeed non-smokers.
As an online operation that prides itself on building long term partnerships with customers, Lifebroker are able to provide clear concise communication about their range of policies in life insurance, trauma insurance, total and permanent disability insurance as well as income protection insurance. Part of this long term partnership results in seeing Australians evolve from smokers into non-smokers; with compelling benefits that stretch far beyond the money saved from not purchasing a packet of cigarettes, or paying a higher insurance premium as a smoker.
Lifebroker can help customers access reduced life insurance premiums once they can show they’ve kicked the smoking habit for a minimum twelve months. It is clear that one’s insurance need not be impacted negatively by what we may or may not hold in our pockets.