Smoking is bad! Few ideas have achieved such a consensus: Today, everybody agrees that smoking is deleterious to health and damaging to the self and others. Antismoking campaigns promulgated by health authorities and health-related organizations are frequently considered effective and valuable. Their influence is thus of considerable interest for social influence researchers, who have long been interested in the way people's attitudes and behaviors are shaped by social influence from expert source s. Furthermore, antismoking campaigns have indubitably contributed to the emergence of a negative reputation of smoking and smokers. Indeed, these campaigns provide cogent rationalizations for the ostracism, stigmatization, and discrimination smokers receive. However, very little research has sought to examine the influence of antismoking campaigns on smokers' reactions to their social stigmatization (Falomir & Mugny, 2004). In part to redress this neglect, we report in this chapter on a research program investigating the influence of antismoking campaigns by expert sources on smokers' reactions and, particularly, on their intention to quit smoking.
SMOKERS AS A STIGMATIZED GROUP
For a long period, smoking was associated with such positive social values as adulthood, masculinity, and intellectualism, and smokers benefited from a positive image (Escohotado, 1989). However, a large body of publications since the 1950s – documenting that tobacco consumption is related to health hazards and damages – has changed the perception of smokers and smoking (e.g., World Health Organization, 1996). A lot of countries have become increasingly interested in promoting actions, including information campaigns and governmental policies, against smoking (Roemer, 1993).