We take a break from our currently scheduled blog post to bring you this public health service announcement: Cigarettes are bad for you.
Been there, heard that.
The Center for Disease Control thinks so, too, which is why they've decided our cigarette warnings – on packages and in commercials – are too wimpy. Warning labels? Pfft. I'll read that as soon as I get through my cellphone contract. So, today they released a brand-spanking new bunch of scare tactics that would make Joe Camel gag. Have you ever seen a camel gag? It’s not pretty. And neither are these new ads, let’s take a look ...
This one isn't so bad, kinda looks like my uncle who lives in ... oh, god! There's a hole! In his throat! Couldn't they have used that guy with the voice box from South Park instead? Cartoons -- as cigarette companies know -- are so much more pleasant and inviting. I miss animated dromedaries already.
This ad could actually be re-used for a variety of campaigns. Heroin addiction. Not enough fluoride. British tourism. (I kid, I kid, I love the Brits!)
I'm wondering what made the CDC go with a 'comic book' feel for this one? Here's Secondhand Smoke Baby, who scares off criminals by wheezing and hacking up a lung in their faces! Seriously, there's nothing about the effects of smoking on kids that warrants using Comic Sans.
According to the CDC, the new advertising is geared toward teens, logic being rotting teeth and neck holes will scare them away from starting smoking.
But I remember being a teen, and I don't recall being too concerned about future health problems. I cared about fitting in. Doing what my friends did (yes, I would have jumped off a bridge if everyone was doing it, sorry mom). So sinking a butt (no pun intended) load of money into nasty images isn't going to do anything but make people say, Ewwww, gross! Disgusting! Puke! Anyone got a light?
If they really wanted to make smoking unappealing to young impressionables, maybe they should have used picture of their lame parents, lighting up while sitting on the couch on a Friday night watching DVR-ed Dancing With the Stars. Now that's scary.
And I can't speak for all adults, but for me, if I were a smoker, pictures -- no matter how graphic -- wouldn't stop me from smoking. I think the only thing that would was knowing someone close to me, someone who I loved and talked to/saw often, was suffering in some way because of it -- which hasn't happened. Of course, that's a good thing. But it also means the CDC is probably fighting a losing battle.
What do you think of the new CDC cigarette warnings?
Images via the CDC