Use 7 Signals of Persuasion To Give Big Tobacco the Boot
Recently, Men’s Health published an article on how Big Tobacco is marketing its deadly products to the older brothers of the teenagers to whom they are now forbidden by law to approach. For the tobacco industry, that’s doubly smart, because young men are perfect targets for their tactics, and their younger siblings will learn by example.
The article makes the point that these young smokers actually hate smoking, but the addiction coupled with an environment of permission and persuasion is enough to keep them trapped, as they go deeper and deeper into the consequences of this deadly habit.
It’s Time for Critical Thinking
There’s no question that Big Tobacco’s compliance professionals have had their way with these young men. The combination of booze, girls and free product have intense appeal to the emotionally responsive young guy. The only true protection from this manipulation, at least until government overcomes the lobbying and does the right thing, banning this horrible substance abuse from the public square, is an individual engaged in critical thinking.
Critical thinking means that you think for yourself. When presented by junk o’logic, like images of guys driving hot cars and going out with hot girls, try real logic to overcome the false imagery. A girl who cares for herself won’t want to kiss a mouth that tastes like an ashtray. And like the one cowboy said to the other as they were riding off into the smoking sunset, “I miss my lung Bob.”
If you’re a young man surrounded by the cloud of try-smoking/keep smoking suggestions, burn through the hype by yourself. You be the antidote – Here are the key questions to counter the signals of persuasion:
Countering the 7 Signals of Persuasion
1. (Affinity) Just because I the person encouraging me to do this, does that mean it is in my interest to do it?
2. (Conformity) Just because everyone else is doing it, does that mean I should do it too?
3. (Reciprocity) Just because they are giving away the sample, does that mean I’m obligated to use it?
4. (Scarcity) Just because it’s becoming more scarce, does that make it more valuable?
5. (Authority) Just because people I admire (and perhaps do not know) do it, does that mean its a good thing for me to do?
6. (Consistency) Just because I’ve taken the first step of being around tobacco, does that mean I need to keep taking steps towards addiction to it?
7. (Comparison) Just because it’s almost as easy to do as breathing, does that make it better than breathing?
When you know the signals of persuasion and how to think for yourself in the presence of them, you can be safe instead of one day sorry; cool because you’re healthy instead of somehow cool because you’re killing yourself; and smarter with your brain cells than you could ever be without them. You will change your life toward positive change.
Rick is a best selling author and the founder of the Art of Change Skills for Life. His book titles include, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to bring out the best in people at their worst, Life by Design and Influence and the Art of Persuasion. These days he is spending quality time away from the spotlight enjoying the company of his wife and practicing his electric guitar.