App experiment shows most people prefer non-smokers

April 25, 2014 Letters to the Editor Print Print
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Would you date a smoker? Action on Smoking & Health has partnered with two New York creatives, Angelle Juneau and Jeff Scardino, to create a Tinder experiment called Smoking Hot. The social experiment uses the number one dating app Tinder to see if smoking is attractive to potential dates.

Recent studies have indicated that although smoking is down among high school students, the age group with the highest rate is the 18- to 26 year-old crowd. Both cigar smoking and social smoking have contributed to the high rate.

The trouble with getting this age group to stop smoking is they don’t think about their own mortality.

They don’t believe smoking with kill them. When asked, almost all of them will tell you that they plan to quit in the future. So threats of death do not work.

A different approach was needed to hit home and make quitting relevant in their current lives. So, we set out to show them that their dating life could be affected by smoking.

Matches created on Tinder are based solely on looks. So it was the perfect platform to test if people think smoking is attractive.

Smoking Hot takes one beautiful girl and creates two separate Tinder accounts. Both accounts have the same settings, likes, friends and almost exactly the same photos. The only difference is that one account features the girl smoking in every photo while the other does not. Over the course of one week, the non-smoking account received 54 percent of matches while the smoking account received 29 percent.

The project at ash.org/smokinghot, consists of targeted online and social ads, along with posters that will be hung outside of bars and on college campuses. There also is a live poll component where anyone can give their opinion by casting a vote in favor of dating a smoker, nonsmoker, or both.

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