Here’s an interesting social experiment by ASH (it’s an acronym for “Action on Smoking & Health”), an American NGO headquartered in Washington DC. Using the superficial nature of the “hookup” app Tinder, they created identical profiles of attractive people, with one difference: one version showed them smoking a cigarette, the other did not.
The result of this unscientific survey showed Tinder users had twice as much interest in interacting with the non-smoker.
It’s pretty gimmicky, and I’m not sure that people who still smoke do so because they think it makes them look more attractive. While smoking rates among American youth continue to drop, cigarette smoking is acquiring an increasing stigma. Where I live in Canada, smokers have been effectively banished from indoor public spaces, and those I know who brave the frigid outdoors to light up are severely addicted. They’re not exactly doing it to look cool anymore.
With that in mind, I consider this campaign a great bit of PR for ASH, which in itself is good, but doubt that it will lead to many people quitting tobacco. If anything, it might just convince them to leave the smokes out of their Tinder profiles.