In this segment, I would like to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts that have been brought on by advertisements that are trying to prevent the use of tobacco. It seems that the tables have turned. Where we used to see smoking advertisements, we now see the exact opposite with anti-smoking billboards and commercials.
These non-tobacco advertisements are not only out in abundance, but they are powerful as well. Commercials show harsh realities of what happens to smokers. Some display those that are living with holes in their necks, talking about all of the adjustments they have to make in their daily routines. A recent one features a woman who has greatly had her vision affected from smoking, and now must receive routine shots in her eye. They are not by any means easy to watch. These ads are graphic, and that’s how they need to be. No longer can we sugar coat it.
These ads have also touched us emotionally as well. I heard one on the radio the other day where a father had to explain to his curious little boy why he had so many doctors’ appointments. Dad had developed lung cancer, and was worried that he may not be around for his son much longer. No doubt, this advertisement is effective in tugging on your heart strings. However, what’s even more painful to think about is the fact that this is actually happening every day. Sons and daughters are losing their parents to tobacco far too often. Spouses are looking back on their wedding photos, wishing that their significant other had quit smoking before it was too late. The thought process often is, “it will never happen to me or anybody that I know”, but with all the data and knowledge we have today, anybody who says that is being naïve.
These efforts to put out advertisements against smoking need to continue. Imagine the effect an advertisement like the ones I talked about can have on a smoker. Sitting in the living room, enjoying the television with your family when suddenly, one of these anti-smoking commercials comes on. The room will suddenly grow tense, perhaps awkward because this ad cannot be ignored. I hope these families get anxious when these ads come on, in my opinion that’s a good thing. It needs to be uncomfortable to wake everyone up and to help these families realize that smoking needs to come to an end.
We are nowhere near putting an end to tobacco. However, it really gives me hope now that I am seeing these powerful ads in such large quantities. We are no longer listening to the lies of cigarette companies; instead, we are now fighting back. For once, it seems that the people have finally gained leverage against large tobacco corporations, and these companies have nothing that they can fight back with. We see through all their lies and attempts to get around the inevitable truth. Finally, we are on the attack, and this should not stop until tobacco is put to an end.