Smoking Makes You Ugly

Friday, June 12, 2009

Transcript

Anti-smoking ads historically highlight one blunt fact: smoking kills. But the World Lung Foundation has analyzed the effectiveness of ads around the world targeting various cultures and discovered it's not that simple. Sandra Mullin, senior vice president at Communications for the World Lung Foundation, says the most effective ads highlight the pain, suffering and dismemberment that come from smoking.

Comments [4]

Thomas Westgard from Chicago, Illinois

I've been saying this since 1988. We all know we're going to die. My grandfather was a lifelong smoker who died at 78. You can't threaten people with dying at 78, because that's a pretty good outcome.

What you CAN threaten people with is emphysema, which left him staggering around the house and gasping for breath for more than a decade. You can threaten people with EARLY death and suffering along the way. Show what it looks like to be ill.

Show people going through chemo. Show women talking about losing their breasts to cancer. Show men talking about losing their balls to cancer. Show children talking about losing their parents to smoking-related deaths.

As long as the ads are just "smoking kills," it's going to be ineffective. We already know we're all going to die.

Jun. 15 2009 02:12 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

Re the piece, all true enough . . . but I'm wondering why there has been such an apparently orchestrated (journalists, trial lawyers) campaign against smoking vs., say, drinking alcohol. (Alcohol can make you ugly, too.) I mean, which would you rather have your loved one be, if forced to choose - a chain smoker or an alcoholic? And the deaths to innocent parties caused by drinking vs. smoking are much better documented in the former case.

I think the answer to this question has to do with social class attitudes, rather than 'science', and that a journalism review might well consider the question. Upper-income people are less likely to smoke, but not less likely to drink. I'm not calling for a jihad against Budweiser or Absolut - just noting the journalistic dissonance at a journalism review.

Jun. 15 2009 01:06 PM
Peter from Manhattan

It's good to know that I'm not the only one who noticed how ridiculous those "Marie from the Bronx" ads are. How many smokers do you know? How many of them are shedding digits? It seems highly likely that there are a number of contributing factors like sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, maybe diabetes. Blaming it all on smoking seems mendacious to a degree that almost makes me want to light up again.

Jun. 14 2009 01:30 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Didn’t I write this before?

I’m still waiting for the Levitra ad that begins, “I was talking to my doctor about my lifelong cigarette smoking and she told me how it led to my ED…” and what I imagine could be the drastic slump in sales to minor males. They may not be afraid of death but, I’m guessing the prospect of an old or middle age demanding decreasingly effective Viagra or Cialis (to spread my commercial speech out evenly) is something that might give even them pause.

Jun. 13 2009 04:44 PM

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