Using Scare Tactics to Prevent Drug Use May Backfire

Do scare tactics designed to prevent drug use work? A new study suggests they might be not only be ineffective, but counter-productive.

The study, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, asked 441 teenagers to visit a mock store where they were exposed to graphic anti-smoking posters. The result? Among teenagers who were already at a high risk of smoking, exposure to the scary posters resulted in an increased likelihood of smoking in the future.

The posters caused “a significant increase in future smoking susceptibility among those adolescents who already were at high risk for smoking in the future,” according to the researchers.

Click here to read the study.