Nobody Likes A Quitter

Has anyone seen the newish online stop-smoking program campaign It’s a program designed to help you “re-learn life without cigarettes.” I was drawn to it through banner ads containing quirky line art animations of smokers in trigger situations – i.e., out drinking, after a meal, celebrating…

In each 10-second animation, there’s a surprising reveal of the cig behind the situation: the “celebrating” girl is surrounded by confetti and blowing a party horn. After a few honks you realize it’s actually a lit cigarette she’s blowing. The “after a meal” guy finishes his food and belches up a cigarette. Kinda weird – I like it!! 

Problem is, the animations aren’t a lead-in to anything; they’ve generated some angst by reminding me I want to smoke, but now they’re not following it up with any reasons why I shouldn’t want to. Where and when does the relearning begin? The “get started now” link is similarly frustrating – takes me to a heartless and disengaging sign up form.

Meh. Too hard. Too depressing. Too futile. I didn’t want to join your stupid program anyway.

The site does a clever job of nailing smoking behavior, but it seems nobody paid enough attention to understanding quitting behavior. I’m not a smoker, so maybe this approach works in a way I can’t see. But I suspect that by not dangling the benefits of not smoking and only reminding me of what I will have to give up, quitting still just sucks.