Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

All those so-called 'hard-hitting' ads to help us quit smoking are becoming a real drag

Good luck to the new government campaign to stop people smoking.

They're spending millions on "hard-hitting" ads that show a person smoking a fag which has a tumour growing on it.

It's been heralded with "Warning: This ad contains images that might disturb" preambles, guaranteed to make most of us want to watch and be disturbed.

I watched but wasn't remotely disturbed. The special effects are grand but, let's be honest, most heavy smokers cough up worse looking things into the wash hand basin after a good night out.

Perhaps if smoking cigarettes was treated by society and by government as a drug addiction rather than a slightly dodgy social habit then things might change.

We don't see people standing outside offices in the rain shooting up heroin or snorting coke. It's not socially acceptable. Cigarettes still are. Banning them won't work, but really making smoking fags look like drug taking, might have some effect. Better than the pretend tumour anyway...

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