Managing smokefree momentum: Young RYO smokers’ responses to tobacco endgame strategies

Shelagh Ferguson, Jan Brace-Govan, Janet Hoek, Matthew Mulconroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


As more countries set smoking endgame goals and introduce measures to denormalize smoking, smokers’ experience of stigma may intensify and require new management strategies. Probing the tension between environmental changes that support population-level behaviour change and individuals’ sense making, which occurs at a micro, everyday level, provides unique insights into reactance, agency and stigma. Using a Foucauldian informed approach, we analyze how young RYO (roll-your-own tobacco) smokers internalize neoliberal marketplace economic norms and create positions of resistance. Experience-based videographies and in-depth interviews with 15 New Zealand young adults aged 20-30 illustrate how participants resist stigma and the social disapproval they experience. This analysis identifies how smoking denormalization affects practices and pleasures, and generates four discernible positions of resistance: Socialized, Comfort, Status and Pleasure Orientated Resistances. These highlight intersections between policy initiatives and consumer resistance, offering new insights relevant to public policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-265
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • consumer resistance
  • denormalization
  • governmentality
  • roll your own tobacco
  • smokefree 2025
  • videography

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