Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Early Morning, Full of Bran, Listening to New Filter CD

"I think that it is an individual matter, an individual choice and people don't like to be socially engineered. And I think that evidence has shown on both sides of the border, despite what the anti-tobacco lobby says, that people will make up their own minds."

— John MacDonald, spokesman for Rothmans, Benson & Hedges says if the government changes its anti-tobacco advertising strategy it won't have much effect.

I can't help but agree with this quote, despite the fact that I'm agreeing with a big-time tobacco company executive. Maybe anti-smoking campaigns work on some people, but they certainly don't work for me or any of my friends. Hell, even a certain friend of mine who works for a major anti-smoking awareness group sneaks a drag or two off a cigarette from time to time when no one is looking. We all know what the risks are and that's it's bad for us...but people don't like being pressured or guilted. If people want to smoke, they will smoke. The exception is when it comes to loved ones. Usually, we'll listen to a loved one who cares about us and we'll consider their request more carefully, and many times, we will more-readily quit for someone else than for ourselves. But slogans and gross-out pictures on cigarette packs and guilt-inducing commercials on TV? They're frankly a waste of money, in my opinion. Most smokers laugh at them.

Smoking is a filthy, filthy habit, as my mother likes to remind me every once in a while. Second-hand smoke is also disgusting. Hell, almost *everything* about smoking is disgusting.

But, speaking as a smoker, the current mainstream methods of convincing people to quit just aren't working. People have to decide for themselves if it's time for them to kick the habit.

For a look at an interesting, unconventional approach to an anti-smoking campaign targeting women, check out Sluts Against Butts. It's very militant and quirky.


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