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Singh, Sonal

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  • Paper Title: Filthy or Fashionable? Exploration of Adolescents’ Attitudes and Intentions Towards Smoking in Fiji Islands 
  • Department Affiliation: Department of Marketing and Management  
  • Supervisors’ Names:
    • Principal: Julian De Meyrick          
    • Associate: Professor Gregory Ronald Elliott  

Purpose:

Previous studies have indicated that antismoking advertising potentially prevents or reduces smoking among adolescents. However not all anti smoking advertisements are effective. This study aims to explore adolescent’s perceptions, attitudes and intentions towards smoking and incorporate their views in designing anti -smoking advertisements. 

Design: 

Four focus groups were conducted with high school students in Fiji Islands. The groups ranged in size from 10-12 participants and were stratified based on gender and ethnicity.  

Findings:

Fijian males and Indo-Fijian females saw peer smoking as a way to be cool and popular in contrast to Indo- Fijian males and Fijian females. All four groups had awareness of health effects of smoking such as cancer and emphysema yet all four groups also expressed ideas related to the ability to control addiction and held beliefs of invulnerability to diseases and death related to smoking. 

Research Limitations/Implications:

The findings are based form one high school in Fiji Islands and should not be generalized to overall adolescent population. Future quantitative research is needed to compare adolescents’ responses to a set of anti smoking advertisements.  

Social and Practical Implications:

As social threat rather than physical threat messages appear to be of more importance to this cohort we would suggest a re-framing of the current campaigns that are dominated by health messages. Social threat/ benefit focused anti-smoking advertisements have the potential to be an important component for a comprehensive tobacco control policy  to battle the complex and multicausal influences of adolescent smoking. 

Originality/value:

This study focuses on exploring perceptions, attitudes and intentions towards smoking amongst adolescents’ in the Fiji Islands context. 

Keywords: 

adolescents, anti-smoking advertisements, social threat, health threat, Fiji Islands