The sociological impact of attitudes toward smoking: secondary effects of the demarketing of smoking

J Soc Psychol. 2005 Dec;145(6):703-18. doi: 10.3200/SOCP.145.6.704-718.


Demarketing (i.e., the act of discouraging consumption or use [of specific products or services]) of cigarettes has been a public policy objective for the past 40 years or more. The use of demarketing actions, such as antismoking advertising campaigns, has contributed to the decrease of the proportion of smokers in the general population. A consequence of demarketing efforts has been the development of negative stereotypes of smokers. The author investigated whether the negative stereotypes that are directed at smokers can be transferred by observers to services that the smokers use. The results of the scenario-based experiment indicated that participants who had read narrative descriptions of a customer had expectations of service atmospherics (physical characteristics, e.g., cleanliness, odors) that were more negative when associated with a smoker target than when associated with a nonsmoker target.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marketing*
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Desirability
  • Stereotyping