So second-hand smoke replaces (a) kills; (b) shoots; (c) death; or (d) all of the above? This analogy renders cigarettes as deadly a weapon as a gun, and reading the fun facts dancing along the bottom of the billboards, I suppose it’s not just an analogy. Great, I get it. But will the obnoxious smoking 16-year-old who has to actually think for a second, and sees just one of these ads, not five of them in succession? And more importantly, will he care?
Because, really, the fact that smokers are more than willing to give themselves lung cancer, in spite of all the negative advertising and scientific evidence, suggests that they aren’t careful enough with their own life, let alone anyone else’s. There is more than the eminent health danger of second-hand smoke in this ad, but the danger that control over these potential consequences is placed in the (nicotine-stained) hands of anyone but the victim.
“We Draw the Line” is an impressive campaign by the Department of Health in Wyoming, one which draws a distinction between good and bad choices, as well as their outcomes. The website outlines “Why we have to start looking for that line before we cross it,” which seems like a great idea in theory. But as mentioned, great ideas can often be lost on those who willingly coat their arteries in tar-like substances.
Speaking as someone who was once a susceptible waitress, and is now thankful that smoking is no longer permitted indoors in Australia – the Wyoming Department of Health should take their tax payer dollars and direct them towards some serious lobbying, instead of expensive billboard ads. Tobacco companies may not even put up as much of a fight, considering that recent court cases have found them liable for lung cancer fatalities. The rest of the world – well at least England, Canada and Australia, have caught on to the whole passive smoke is bad thing. It’s time the Wyoming legislature did too.
Advertising Agency: Sukle Advertising & Design, Denver, USA
Creative Director: Mike Sukle
Art Directors: Andy Dutlinger, Jeff Euteneuer
Copywriters: Jim Glynn, Zac Spector
Released: December 2008