Everyone’s free to do what they want (as long as they don’t harm others, obviously) and live the life they want to live. Smoking is one of those activities, however, that doesn’t do yourself any good(passive smoking harms others, too, but that deserves it’s very own debate; won’t get into that right now), in fact, it kills around 5 lakh people a year, and that estimate was made a few years ago.
This blog post aims to review one of the greatest (in my opinion, anyway) ad campaigns ever: American Legacy Foundation (a public health NPO formed in 1999)’s “Truth” campaign, that has resonated with the youth to a very large degree.
Prevention is better than cure, as the old adage goes, and this is the thought that drives this campaign, that targets the youth and tries to make them see, through a series of well-thought-out ads, that it’s not smoking that’s actually cool.
One of the ads shows a number of youngsters unloading body bags in front of big tobacco’s building and informing us of the fact that it kills 1200 Americans a DAY, not something to scoff at, exactly.
Another ad has pictures of celebrities smoking, with all of them being dubbed an “Unpaid Tobacco Spokesperson”, pointing to the fact that celebrities are all role models to the youth, and that they’re unwittingly giving the message that it’s okay to smoke, not least because of the amount of selfies they put up with a cigarette (or illegal substances) in their mouths and hands.
The makers of “truth” launched another campaign “Finish It” which aims to ‘end smoking for good’ with the claim that this generation (people aged 15-21) can be the one to finally put an end to smoking.
It has been a very successful campaign so far, and the intermittent progress reports put forward on their website www.thetruth.com is proof of that.
Ironically, this multi-million dollar campaign is funded by big tobacco itself, in accordance with the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998. At least some good has come of the exhorbitant tobacco sales, and we can only hope that smoking can be curbed some day in the future, with efforts like the award-winning “Truth” campaign, this may not be that implausible after all.