This thesis examines the behavior of occasional smokers in high schools in Denmark. The aim is to formulate a communication strategy towards this target group, stating that they are smokers on equal terms with regular smokers and that occasional smoking should be considered harmful. Since there is a lack of empirical knowledge within this research area, the objective of the thesis is to add new knowledge with a special focus on high school students’ occasional smoking behavior contrary to regular smoking behavior. This subject is relevant due to the fact that recent studies of smoking behavior lack in differentiating the smoker types. It is important to understand the varying demands and to apply different communication strategies in order to fully influence the target groups. The theoretical framework for this thesis is The Transtheoretical Model of Health Behavior Change and Theory of Planned Behavior from the research area of Consumer Behavior. The applied method is qualitative, and four focus groups were conducted. Regarding high school students occasional smoking behavior, it was concluded that five conditions influence the communication strategy. These are Identity construction, Subjective norm, Self-perception of occasional smoking, Stagematched messages besides Age of majority and the formulation and relevance of a message. The conclusion of this thesis provides some practical implications. Occasional smoking is linked closely to the individual identity construction whereas it is important to change the positive image of cigarette smoking. Furthermore, the subjective norm influences the high school students’ choice to smoke occasionally. Due to the need of belonging to a group, the social ties play an important role among students in high school. Hence, it is recommended to target high school students in small groups, since they influence each other. By doing so, smoking becomes unpopular within the whole group. It was also concluded that due to cognitive dissonance, the high school students do not perceive themselves as “smokers”, regardless of a permanent desire for smoking occasionally. Moreover it was concluded that most occasional smokers in high school are in The Precontemplation Stage for which reason they do not intend to stop smoking within the next six months. Therefore stage-matched messages are crucial and have to be adjusted to the processes of change; Consciousness-raising, Dramatic relief and Environmental reevaluation. Furthermore attention needs to be drawn to the age of majority of the high school students, since it influences how they perceive the messages in anti smoking campaigns. Finally, it was concluded that the use of positive messages in anti smoking campaigns are recommended.This is contrary to the use of Lejlighedsrygning i de danske gymnasier Kandidatafhandling CBS ! Side 2 af 155! negative messages, as the high school students become defiant. Therefore they are more receptive to positive messages, which can motivate them to change their behavior. Further research needs to be conducted in order to verify and enrich the findings of this thesis, provided this explorative approach.
|Educations||MSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||157|