Tobacco companies spend $700,000 an hour to convince people that smoking is fun and exciting. Don’t be fooled. The following are some of the ways tobacco companies try to hook you.

  • Tobacco companies put ads in magazines and convenience stores to attract new, young smokers. Ever wonder why? Studies show that if people don’t start smoking as teens, they probably won’t ever start. And, each day thousands of smokers quit or die. Tobacco companies need to hook young smokers to stay in business.
  • Tobacco companies use good-looking models to make smoking look fun and exciting. Think sticking a cigarette in your face will help you stay thin or make you more popular? The truth is, smoking stinks. It gives you yellow teeth, wrinkles, bad breath, and hair that smells like an ashtray. Plus, you cough up mucus. Sounds attractive don’t it?

What can you do to resist tobacco ads?

When you see an ad, ask these questions:

  • What is the ad trying to say about smoking? Is it true?
  • Does the ad make it look like people who smoke are cool, adventurous, or popular?
  • Will smoking really make a person look and feel better? Or worse?
  • Does the ad make you want to try smoking?

Then ask yourself:
Am I going to be fooled by tobacco ads? Or am I going to make the decision based on what I know is best for me?

Tobacco and Hollywood

The movies are full of cigarettes and cigars. When people smoke in movies, it seems like smoking is cool and glamorous. Movies do not show the dangerous or disgusting side of smoking.

Make-up and bright lights hide the way smoking hurts your appearance. You don’t see brown, stained teeth or premature wrinkles on stars. You do on real-life smokers.

When you are watching someone smoke on screen, you do not have to breathe their secondhand smoke.

In the movie, smokers do not cough. Real life smokers get more coughs, colds, bronchitis and pneumonia than nonsmokers.

Smokers in the movies don’t usually have lung cancer or heart disease. In real life, smoking kills more people every year than car accidents, murder, AIDS, alcohol and fires combined!

Smoking will not make you an action hero. If you smoke, you will have less energy and won’t be able to breathe as well. Not a strong, action-hero image! And, the good-looking co-star will most likely be turned off by the smell of smoke.

Why do movie stars smoke on camera? Actors get paid to smoke in the movies. Moviemakers have even been paid by tobacco companies to use certain brands in movies.

Remember those are big bucks behind those little butts! Smoking in the movies has been just another form of advertising.

(Journeyworks Publishing, 1998)