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Tags: smoking | cessation | quitting | carotid | arteries | tobacco

Shocking Images Don’t Make Smokers Quit

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 09:37 PM EST

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but showing smokers images of blocked arteries isn’t enough to make most quit.
That’s the surprising finding of a new Swiss study that questions the value of guerilla advertising that aims to shock smokers into quitting with disturbing images of the physical impacts of tobacco.
The study, published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine, involved 536 smokers – 40 to 70 years old – who were shown ultrasound images of plaque-clogged carotid arteries. Plaques in the neck arteries are an indicator of heart disease risk.
Researchers at the University Hospital Inselspital in Switzerland, divided the smokers into two groups. One group was shown images of the clogged arteries, the other was not. Both groups then enrolled in smoking-cessation program.
One year after the test, researchers found many smokers in both groups had quit, but there was no significant difference between the two (25 percent of smokers shown the images; 22 percent in the other).
In an accompanying editorial, Patrick O’Malley, of Uniformed Services University, it may be a more effective strategy to train physicians how to work closely with smokers to help them to quit.
“A picture may be worth a thousand words, but relationships move mountains when it comes to transformative personal change,” writes O’Malley.

© HealthDay

Showing smokers images of blocked arteries makes little difference when it comes to getting them to give up tobacco, study finds.
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 09:37 PM
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