Smoking: A Theoretical Analysis

1017 Words 5 Pages
8.6 million people in the United States live with a serious illness caused by smoking. 8.6 million people made the conscious decision to start smoking, a highly addictive activity that can lead to cancer, ulcers, and even death (“Tobacco Facts and Figures”). According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette and tobacco companies spent $9.5 billion in the US on advertising alone in the year 2013. But with all of this money being spent towards such a harmful cause, anti-smoking campaigns started airing their own ads in an attempt to show the truth. Many ads depict the cigarettes themselves as weapons: bullets being loaded into guns and razor blades. Their is one specific ad where a hand, whose skin is yellow, is in the shape …show more content…
One of the first recorded anti smoking advertisements was in the 1600s by King James I. King James said in his “Counterblaste to Tobacco” that smoking was “‘loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs,’” (King James qtd. in DiPalma). Another major advertisement was done by Germany. According to “A Brief and Scattered History”, in the 1930s and ‘40s a German doctor discovered there was a direct correlation between smoking and lung cancer. One ad reads “The chain-smoker … He does not devour it [the cigarette], it devours him” (DiPalma). Years later, in 1968, celebrities started getting involved in the anti-smoking movement. Actor William Talman, who was best known for his role in Perry Mason, was the first celebrity to film an anti-smoking advertisement. He died six weeks later from lung cancer (DiPalma). Even today celebrities are still a major influence on audiences. One ad I saw said they were the “unofficial tobacco spokesperson” (Caba). If celebrities are seen smoking on their own terms, not in a movie or show, then it is telling people that they can be “cool” like Rihanna or Justin Beiber if they start smoking too. There are even ads showing former smokers that advise others to learn from their mistakes. In 2014 the FDA launched an ad campaign that focused …show more content…
One of “The Real Cost”’s ads portrays a young woman wanting to buy a pack of cigarettes, but she is short of money. She them proceeds to rip off part of the skin on the side of her face, showing that smoking can cause premature aging and wrinkles. Another ad shows a young man in a similar situation, only he takes a pair of pliers a rips out one of his teeth as part of his payment. Along with wrinkles and losing teeth, smoking can also lead to yellow skin, sagging skin, age spots, damaged teeth and gums, stained fingernails, and bad breath (WebMD). There are many more ads that show these exact signs. The specific ad that I picked out for this shows the skin on the wrist and forearm yellowing and stained fingernails. Along with all of these symptoms affecting one’s appearance there are also more health risks internally involved. Smoking can lead to cancer of the lungs, mouth, gums, esophagus, larynx, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, and rectum, as well as acute myeloid leukemia. Even after all of these health implications and problems, one would ask themselves “Why would people willingly pay money to be given a chance of receiving one and possibly many more of the above mentioned health problems?” The answer to that question is simple: Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that is found in tobacco. When inhaled it travels

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