Skip Away. Part 3.

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Tomorrow, January 22, 2008, is the last day for commercials by the infamous, still smoking, antismoking smokesperson, “Skip” Legault. I’m not a smoker but I’m glad to see him go. The antismoking campaign seems to have shifted into a histrionic, “worse than death” mode. Other commercials feature the operation tools of amputation, close-ups of gangrened feet, and hysterical kids making heart-wrenching appeals to Mommy and Daddy not to leave them orphans.

When fanatics start running the asylum, it’s time to reconsider the message. Gross-out commercials are insulting to the three out of four of us who DON’T smoke – in addition to adult smokers who do.

But they “work” you might think. Wrong. Today roughly the same percentage of people smoke who have always smoked: 1 out of 4 adults. Despite the skyrocketing cost of cigarettes, throwing smokers outside in the middle of winter, making them feel like social lepers, scaring their kids, and insulting them with nitwit commercials, millions of people still light up.

Of course much of this continuing habit is addiction (which has NEVER been cured by screaming and cursing at addicts) but I’d like to think there’s another part of it. The part when people say, “I’m a thinking, grown-up American and I’ll make my own decisions in life, thank you. I’m sick of the government continually telling me what to do and what not to do . So butt out, Big Brother, go pick on someone your own size!”

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