Relationships Can Disappear in a Puff of Smoke: a Test of Terror Management Theory and Risk Perceptions on Smoking Behavior

Ingrid Martin, California State University-Long Beach, USA
Michael Kamins, University of Southern California, USA
We continue to be plagued with the problem of creating communications which can increase the probability of complying with risk information. An experiment investigated the impact of mortality salience and self-esteem on whether college-age will comply with anti-smoking messages focused on either health effects or social disapproval themes. We observe that social exclusion messages are particularly effective in reducing intentions to smoke for young smokers who derive their self-esteem in part from smoking. Overall, we find that mortality salience (e.g., health effects or social disapproval appeals) interacts with self esteem to influence the probability of smoking in the short run. The theoretical and public policy implications are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
Ingrid Martin and Michael Kamins (2007) ,"Relationships Can Disappear in a Puff of Smoke: a Test of Terror Management Theory and Risk Perceptions on Smoking Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 312-313.