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Social Norms

Quick. Try and guess how many students on your campus smoke. What do you think - 50, 60 or maybe even 70 percent? If you're like most college students, you'll probably overestimate, accepting smoking as the "norm." Not so!

Various national surveys conducted recently (2008-09) show that only about one-fifth to one-fourth of college students smoke. That's hardly a majority!  So the truth is…most college students do not participate in risky, unhealthy behaviors like smoking. So, smoking is NOT the norm. What can you do with this information? Social norms marketing!

Translation? Social norming is simply attacking the misperceptions that college students have by using positive, credible, norm-based data to inform students of the actual behavior patterns of their peers.

BACCHUS has a long-standing relationship with the National Social Norms Institute and the overall social norming strategy.  There are numerous case studies highlighting the efficacy of social norms marketing.  For more information, please use the links below:

National Social Norms Institute at the University of Virginia

National Conference on the Social Norms Approach, sponsored by BACCHUS

For customizable social norms materials through the BACCHUS Materials Center, please call (952) 920-8999.

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