Although smoking is not nearly as popular as it was, say, 50 years ago, it is still a vice of millions – if not billions of people today. As a non-smoker and someone very against smoking, I was quite concerned when I came to a realization that there are not nearly as many anti-smoking ads as there are smoking or cigarette promotion ads in the media. What I mean by smoking ads are various advertisements I noticed in a few women’s magazines I was flipping through recently. Obviously there aren’t smoking ads on TV or radio due to the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, but there are plenty to make up for that in other media forms such as magazines, billboards and controversially – the Internet.
Just by flipping through a few magazines, I saw probably around ten different cigarette ads or an ad with someone smoking in it. There is one anti-smoking ad that I can remember seeing, but I’m hopeful that there were a couple more that I just didn’t see or don’t recall. The one ad that I remember was one of the “truth” ads, which are great ads and I support the campaign to its fullest, but if their ads are so vastly outnumbered by tobacco/smoking-promoting ads, particularly in magazines, what good are they doing?
This is one of the older “the truth” ads but its definitely one that leaves a lasting image:
As an experiment, I googled “smoking ads” and got 3,020,000 hits, and then googled “anti-smoking ads” and got 321,000 hits. This is sickening! There are well over two million more smoking ads, or information about smoking ads, on the Internet than anti-smoking ads. I realize that cigarette companies are just doing business and looking to make money just like any other company, but its sad because smoking is so life threatening and the constant exposure to it makes people, especially teens, less aware of its consequences because of their want to feel cool.