Smokefree Women

May 12

The National Cancer Institute’s Smokefree Women initiative launched an interesting project this week.  It’s called “Celebrating Smokefree Voices,” and it’s a YouTube video contest, to capture women’s quitting experiences and reasons for quitting smoking, as well as to motivate friends and family members to encourage a woman they love to quit.

There are three things, in particular, that I like about this approach:

First, it a fun way to engage an audience and invite them to participate in the initiative.  Behavioral science theories and models, particularly the Stages of Change Model and the Precaution Adoption Process Model, point to such engagement as a successful approach to enhancing attitudinal and behavior change by helping to personalize the risks and benefits and promoting active decision-making, respectively.  Likewise, by engaging friends and family members in encouraging women to quit smoking, the initiative helps to shape the subjective norm that “people who are important to me disapprove of my smoking and want me to quit” – an important construct in both the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Theory of Reasoned Action.

Second, it features the voices of real people dealing with real struggles in their quest to quit smoking, but by focusing on celebrating being smokefree, it emphasizes the benefits of quitting.  Time and again, consumer research that I have been involved with – particularly in the women’s health field – reveals that showcasing such “real stories” is a powerful way to connect with audiences, build relevance, and enhance empowerment.

Third, it leverages the power of social media to support women in their quit attempt.  The video contest itself utilizes a powerful social media platform, YouTube, to capture attention and begin to engage women and their loved ones.  Then, to enter the contest, one must visit the Smokefree Women Website where there are a number of interactive and sharable tools, such as the Facebook Page and Smokefree Quit Tracker Application, the Twitter handle, monthly quizzes and polls, e-cards, and other quit support tools.

I’m eager to watch the winning video entries on July 2, 2010 and to follow the progress of this initiative.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 at 5:56 pm and is filed under Behavior Change, Public Health, Social Marketing, Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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