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1.1 Background of the Study
Ethyl alcohol or ethanol, commonly known as alcohol, is the same whether the beverage is wine, beer or hard liquor. A principal effect of alcohol is to slow down brain activity and depending on what, how much and how fast a person drinks, the result is slurred speech, hazy thinking, slowed reaction time, dulled hearing, impaired vision, weakened muscles and fogged memory. Certainly, it is not a stimulating experience.
For a long period of time, the problem of cigarette and alcohol has been a very big problem on the socio-economic development of Nigeria and the world in general. Records show that thousands of deaths occur every year as a result of consumption of drugs and alcohol. Medically speaking, alcoholism impairs intellectual function, physical skills, social skills, memory and judgment. Alcohol when consumed heavily causes cardiomyopathy neuritis, cirrhosis of the liver and enteritis. (Concise Medical Dictionary 2000: 16).
There is hardly any opposition to the fact that tobacco smoking is a deadly habit. In the year 1964, the United States Health Authority drew the attention of the world to the fact that tobacco smoking is a recognizable source of premature death and protracted ill health. Peto et al (1994) were of the opinion that the death of half a billion of the world’s population will be as a result of tobacco related complications. About half of this death will be people in their middle age. Reacting to this, governments in almost all parts of the world have stepped up effort at communicating the harmful social consequences of cigarette and alcohol consumption.
The Federal Ministry of Health had made good effort to discourage the consumption of these products by placing advertising messages like “Tobacco smokers are liable to die young”, “Drink responsibly”. This is causing a lot of financial expenditure on the side of government. And it is not just a problem to Nigerian government but the phenomenon has become a global malady. In Britain in particular, their government
had banned smoking in public places since July 2007, while many other countries are also expected to follow suit.
Meanwhile, marketing communication effort to discourage the consumption of these harmful products seems not to be yielding the desired results. Instead of discouragement, the consumption is on the increase. Many marketing companies today have adopted the integrated marketing communication concept. This concept enables the company to carefully integrate and co-ordinate its many communication channels like: sales promotion, personal selling, direct marketing, packaging, public relations, etc. Belch and Belch (1995) affirm that integrated marketing communications required to develop a total marketing communication strategy that recognizes how all of a firm’s marketing activities, not just promotion, communicate with it’s customers. As discussed earlier, some governments are no longer interested in applying the use of persuasive means of marketing communications rather they are interested in the use of state legislation to discourage consumption of these products.
At this point, this research work is, therefore, carried out to know the impact of advertising messages (positive or negative) on the consumption of cigarettes and alcohol.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Cigarette and alcohol are drugs that like sedatives and anesthetics, depress the central nervous system. As Cargiulo (2007) opines, alcohol in particular, is a stimulant because it a times affects those portions of the brain that control judgment. There is no question that the person who drinks alcohol seems stimulated. Speech becomes free and animated, social inhibition may be forgotten, and the drinker can begin to act and feel more emotional.
Drugs prescribed for medical conditions are frequently harmful if combined with alcohol. A medical report (Boreham et al, 2005) suggests that medication of any kind should not be mixed with alcohol. None should be taken by the recovering person, unless the physician who prescribes is fully aware of the alcohol use history. Drugstore medicines can have dangerous effects when mixed with each other, with
alcohol or when taken by the recovering alcoholic. The current available medical evidence (Connor et al, 2009) suggests that any health benefits from alcohol are debatable. Concerns have been raised that the alcohol industry has been involved in exaggerating the wealth benefits of alcohol. According to Connor et al (2009), alcohol should be regarded as a recreational drug with potentially serious adverse effects on health and should not be promoted for cardio-protection.
Cigarette, on the other hand, contains nicotine, the primary psychoactive chemical and it has been shown like alcohol, to be addictive. A key ingredient that makes cigarette more addictive is the inclusion of reconstituted tobacco (Wigard, 2006). Cigarette use by pregnant women has also been shown to cause birth defects, including mental and physical disabilities.
Statistically each cigarette smoked shortens the user’s lifespan by 11 minutes and about half of cigarette smokers die of tobacco-related diseases and lose an average 14 years of life (Boreham et al, 2004). Secondhand smoke from cigarette has been shown to be injurious to bystanders (WHO, 2009) which has led to legislation that has banned their smoking in many workplaces and public areas.
Despite the war being waged through advertising campaigns to change people’s attitude towards cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking, the consumption of these product is still on the increase.
Most advertising campaign to change people’s attitude towards these substances are not properly packaged to impact knowledge on the mind of the consumers.
Inadequate media to reach the masses in creating awareness of harmful effects of cigarette and alcohol consumption on the health of man. There is also poor media timing and selection.
Advertising campaign are been frustrated as a result of some environmental factors like; income peer group influence, occupation of individuals. These factors are contributing to the increase to the level of consumption of these products.
This therefore militates against the organized advertising campaign to reduce the usage of cigarette and alcohol.
Integrated marketing communication tools have been neglected in carrying out the campaign for consumption of these products.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of the study is to investigate of impact of advertising messages on consumption of cigarette and alcohol. Thus the following are the specific objectives:
1. To find out if advertising messages significantly affect consumption of cigarette and alcohol.
2. To investigate if income influences consumption of cigarette and alcohol.
3. To find out if tv commercials and use of other media affect consumption of cigarette and alcohol.
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