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March 28, 2016

Are Anti-Smoking Advertisement Videos Effective?

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The latest YouTube video that has taken India by storm is an anti-smoking video titled “11 Minutes“, starring Sunny Leone, Alok Nath and Deepak Dobriyal (best remembered as Tanu Weds Manu’s Pappiji), the video is a humorous take on what you lose due to smoking. The four minutes forty seconds-long
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The latest YouTube video that has taken India by storm is an anti-smoking video titled “11 Minutes“, starring Sunny Leone, Alok Nath and Deepak Dobriyal (best remembered as Tanu Weds Manu’s Pappiji), the video is a humorous take on what you lose due to smoking.

The four minutes forty seconds-long short film tells the story of a “kul ka deepak jo ab bujhne waala hai” and his last wish. The climax of the story revolves around whether he gets to fulfill that last wish of his. The film is titled “11 minutes” because apparently that is the amount of time you lose when you smoke one cigarette. (Watch the film: https://youtu.be/tHGUAmK2ZHg)

The film is funny and gives a social message with a twist. The makers of the film deserve appreciation for such a unique portrayal of a social message. But the question is, whether such social messages through films are enough? Will someone quit smoking just by seeing these advertisements or videos?

Personally, these campaigns are not as successful as they aim to be. These videos won’t work on people who are not planning to quit. They might reinforce the belief of non-smokers of not smoking, but for an addict, they will always find a way around saying, “Oh, that won’t happen to me though!” or “Everyone has to die eventually”. People will watch the video, laugh, share it across social networking platforms, but will eventually pick up the white and yellow role when under stress. But that doesn’t mean that these campaigns are completely ineffective; they are successful to a certain degree. They will gross out a non-smoker and strengthen his decision to not smoke. It might help a person who is planning to quit, get more firm on his decision. In short, these campaigns need the support of other media to spread awareness about this cause, but they won’t be enough to bring about a change alone.

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