Smoking is the single most avoidable risk factor for cancers. Majority of smokers know about this fact but it is difficult for them to give it up mainly in the face of widespread smoking advertisements by the tobacco industries. To reduce the prevalence of smoking and its associated cancers, immediate actions are required by public health authorities. Social marketing is an effective strategy to promote healthy attitudes and influence people to make real, sustained health behavior change by transiting through different stages which include precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Social marketing can influence smokers to voluntarily accept, reject, modify, or abandon their smoking behavior. In Pakistan, the smoking prevalence has been increasing, necessitating effective measures. The trend of its usage has been going upwards and, according to the World Health Organization, in Pakistan, the usage of cigarette smoking is increased by 30% compared to 1998 figures. The Pakistan Pediatrics Association has estimated 1,000 to 1,200 schoolgoing children between the ages of 6 and 16 years take up smoking every day. In Pakistan, ex-smokers in the low socioeconomic group reported spending 25% of the total household income on this habit. This paper focuses on the antismoking social marketing strategy in Pakistan with an aim to reduce smoking prevalence, especially among the youth.
- Health behavior change
- Social marketing