Showing anti-smoking advertisements before movies in which the lead character smokes is not as effective a method as campaigners hope, for the only people such adverts really reduce the appeal of smoking to, are non-smokers.
And, the news comes from a study that appears in the June issue of the journal Tobacco Control.
The study was carried on 3,000 cinemagoers, 18.6 percent of whom were current smokers, aged 12-24 years in Australia, over a period of three weeks.
The researchers found that after three weeks, though the number of non-smokers who said that they would stay away from taking up the butt increased from 43.8 percent to 47.8 percent, smokers said that there would be no change in their habits, with 38.6 percent of those who saw the anti-smoking adverts saying that they were still likely to be smoking a year on.
The authors concluded that while antismoking advertisement before movies can help stop non-smokers from taking up the butt, campaigners and health experts need to come up with new, innovative methods to woo smokers away from the habit.
"Placing an antismoking advertisement before movies that contain smoking scenes can help to immunise young non-smokers against the influences of film stars smoking," the BMJ quoted them, as stating.
In fact, the researchers warn that anti-smoking campaign just might have the opposite effect on smokers, making them more determined to keep up the habit.
"The finding that a higher proportion of smokers in the intervention group reported they were likely to be smoking in the future suggests that the antismoking advertisement could have in fact increased stated intentions to smoke," they state.
"Caution must be exercised in the type of advertisement screened as some types of advertising may reinforce smokers' intentions to smoke," they add.