Photo: Werner Kunz (Flickr)
We all know that smoking is unhealthy. But what’s the best way to get someone to quit? By harping on the dangers of lighting up, or by touting the benefits of kicking the habit?
According to one study, being positive may be the best approach.
Positive And Negative Messages
The researchers looked at how callers to a stop-smoking- tobacco-quit-line responded to positive and negative messages. The results were encouraging, if somewhat limited.
When smokers trying to quit called the hotline, they were told either about the costs of smoking and the benefits of quitting, or only about the benefits of quitting. Callers hearing only the benefits of quitting message were nearly twice as likely to quit smoking.
Were The Results Long Lasting?
However, the effect was short lived. Within three months, both groups of callers were more or less equal when it came to how many had remained smoke free.
The researchers are optimistic, though, that continuous positive messages about the benefits of quitting smoking could have a longer lasting effect.
Health Hazards Become Annoying
Most people, smokers included, are well aware of the dangers of nicotine–so well aware, in fact, that warnings about the health hazards of smoking may come across as annoying or redundant.
The researchers suspect that emphasizing the benefits of quitting may be more effective because it promises a certain, beneficial outcome. And with enough positive encouragement, smokers learning about the benefits of a smoke free life may be more inclined to quit.