Last Updated 13 Jan 2023

Using of Ethos Pathos Logos in the Fight Against Smoking

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The Action on Smoking and Health is a non-profit, anti-nicotine and tobacco organization. The mission they state is to “advocate for innovative legal and policy measures to end the global tobacco epidemic.” (ASH). Although they believe they are fighting to save people’s lives, vaping is a controversial topic and this organization has opponent organizations are in support of vaping because of the health benefits that cigarette addicted individuals gain. Other organizations emphasize the good vaping can do by helping those addicted to cigarettes quit, but the ASH believes that vaping has taken a turn and is not being used for the intended purpose. They strive to educate adults on how the youth takes advantage of vaping devices for their own pleasure; By doing this they are also accomplishing educating the youth on the potential, possibly life long side effects that vaping can bring. This organization relays its message across the world through powerful and meaningful advertisements. Two images that the Action on Smoking and Health organization has published are powerful in the way that they appeal to the ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos. Through these rhetorical appeals, the ASH delivers their message that all nicotine and tobacco use can negatively affect a person’s health by using their stature and current events to appeal to people’s emotions and to present facts about the topic.

The Action on Smoking and Health is a well-known organization with many members and supporters. According to their Scotland website, they have famous supporters such as professional athletes Allan Wells and Scott Hastings. (ASH Scotland). This organization has an applied ethos that comes with their organization name due to the fact that they are well known around the world; Their websites range from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Scotland. The first image is a black and white image where it appears that smoke is creating the face of someone old and deteriorating. In the corner of the image it reads, “don’t let smoking fade your life.” This image appeals greatly to pathos, logos, and kairos. Pathos is the appeal of emotion and this image does just that. When people, of all ages, look at this image, they think of the vape or cigarette pack they have in their pocket and they question if it is worth their health, and possibly their life. Most individuals, especially the youth, expect to have a long life, and through this image, the message is being delivered that these habits can decay those dreams. They also might feel emotions of sadness and worry for those who are in their life and are being affected by nicotine and tobacco. This image also relates to logos, the appeal of logic. This image does not have statistics listed on it to show people the evidence of the effects of nicotine and tobacco, but it does say the most important part of all those addictions:

Don’t let smoking fade your life.”. When people see this message, they are reminded of the evidence that is against smoking and they find it logical to attempt to quit. This image also appeals to Kairos, the appeal of timeliness. Raising awareness on vaping and cigarette smoking has become an epidemic across the nation; There are constant television advertisements and news articles coming out to warn people about the negative effects of this addiction. This image strongly appeals to the times since there is more evidence against the use of these products. The Kairos appeal in this image relays strongly to younger individuals who often feel as if their life in invincible. There is now a reported 3.6 million middle and high school students who have started vaping as a daily habit. (Hoffman. 2018) This image shows that their habits can end their life, especially if they have started them so early in life. Overall, this image relays the main message of the organization by visually showing people how smoking can take over and hurt a once healthy life.

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The second image is a more colorful, cartoon-like image. Although it is developed through bright colors, the message is relays is much darker. The image reads the message “One person dies every 4.5 seconds from a tobacco-related disease.”. This statistic appeals strongly to logos because it is stating a undeniable fact. The statistic is written very plainly and simply so that it is easier for viewers to comprehend and to put into action. There are thousands of journals written by professionals who study the effects of smoking on a person’s health. In a very powerful article published in September of 2017, the European Union reports that 700,000 deaths were caused by smoking. The article goes on to explain how cigarettes not only affects a person’s health, but the overall living situation, but most people, especially youth, do not want to sit and read a ten-page research paper. (Yeh. 2017). With the simple text in the advertisement, the message the ASH is trying to get across is clear and it resonates with the viewer. Not only does the statistic relate to logos, but once the viewer sees this, they will agree that it makes sense to quit their potentially deadly habit. This fact also relates to ethos because it shows the audience that the organization is dedicated and has researched the topic. This image, much like the first one, appeals greatly to pathos. Once people who use tobacco products see this image, they will be frightened and dedicated to saving their lives. They will feel emotions that will encourage them to quit to save themselves from being a part of that statistic in the future. They will also feel for those people who have lost their lives to tobacco-related diseases and they will want to make a change in the world to lower that statistic. This image also appeals to Kairos because it is showing that this statistic of deaths is present and it will not change unless all population is willing to change their habits. This image makes individuals see the facts in plain writing and fully understand why organizations such as the Action on Smoking and Health are fighting to put an end to tobacco and nicotine use.

Through these images, the Action on Smoking and Health organization are delivering their message across the world and raising awareness to the real side effects that come from nicotine and tobacco use. Many people think that they can’t or won’t be a part of a scary statistic such as the one listed on the discussed advertisement, but through these images and their appeal to pathos, logos, and kairos, this truth is becoming more realistic. Through the use of these rhetorical devices, the ASH can appeal to their viewer's senses and make them understand the impacts tobacco and nicotine products can have on their life. In the future, the one person killed every 4.5 seconds due to tobacco-related diseases can be reduced greatly by the persuasion and realism these images evoke.

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