Paid Counter-Advertising: Proven Strategy to Combat Tobacco Use and Promotion

  • Alan Blum
    Address reprint requests to Dr. Blum at the Department of Family Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, 5510 Greenbriar, Houston, TX 77005.
    From the Department of Family Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. Dr. Blum is National Chairman of Doctors Ought to Care
    Search for articles by this author
      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.
      This article discusses the effectiveness of paid counter-advertising in combating tobacco use and promotion, the impact of the Fairness Doctrine, which mandated anticigarette television advertisements in the late 1960s, and reasons why the media today are reluctant to run antismoking advertisements. Although counter-advertisements can work very well, they should be image-based, rather than fact-based. Currently, tobacco companies promote a positive image of cigarette smoking and brand awareness. Most antismoking ads, however, tend to focus on the tobacco itself and its adverse effects on the smoker, rather than combating the images the cigarette ads promote. Urging counter-advertising to focus on the product, rather than to try to produce guilt in smokers, this article provides examples of paid counter-advertising strategies employed by Doctors Ought to Care to illustrate an image-based approach. Overall, the antismoking movement must guard against complacency and measure its success according to tobacco companies’ declining revenues, rather than the number of public service advertisements in the media.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect