A new study suggests combining positive messages about quitting smoking with negative messages about the health effects of tobacco use may be more effective than using either strategy alone.
Smokers who believe quitting will be difficult respond better to messages about the harmful effects of smoking, while those who believe they can quit whenever they want benefit more from messages about how stopping smoking will improve their health, the study found.
Using a mix of both types of messages could be the most effective way of reaching the most smokers, the researchers said. Currently, most tobacco warnings on cigarette packages are negative, or “loss-framed,” messages, Health Day reports. Their effectiveness could be improved by adding “gain-framed” positive ideas, the researchers wrote in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.