Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fag ends

If only we had known that David Fotherington Cameron (or DFC as no doubt his Cologne & Cotton embossed towels read) has a preference for Marlborough Lights, it would have been so much easier to quit. Just the thought of having anything in common with him would have been enough (sorry Conservative party but you don't need us to tell you that he is "No Jack Kennedy").

But as it turns out we don't need smarmy Dave's image after all. Not when we have the latest NHS "smoking damages your sex life" campaign. As if being single is not hard enough in London, being single and a smoker is now the mating equivalent of being ginger and making it in Hollywood. But finally for once the vanity burden is not quarantined to women. The adverts attack the impact of smoking on impotence and erectile dysfunction as well as 'minging teeth' and 'cat's bum mouth.'

So, as the Guardian asks today 'are we so image conscious that vanity concerns come before health and survival?' We would have to say yes when it comes to smoking. Because vanity (i.e. looking cool) is intrinsic to why most of us took that first puff. I am reminded of an advert from my grandmother's generation of an illustrious glamour babe (although back then donned in a floor-length poodle skirt not hot pants) dragging away on a fag end with the caption above saying 'Not all girls who smoke are bad, but all bad girls smoke.' And we don't need to look further than Kate Moss's £30 million comeback to understand the power of that image.

Which is why the NHS is clever to target smokers with their vanity. But given the growing obesity epidemic, how do we similarly warn over eaters? In the age of the skinny size zero backlash, what vanity strategy could NHS adverts employ to combat the battle of the bulge? A tricky one because as any smoker knows, when faced with temptation our health concerns go up in smoke.

To find out more about how smoking kills your chances of getting a date:

Visit the two microsites supporting the NHS line: for men and for women.


Anonymous Henry said...

The NHS could put up pictures of trans fats dripping throughout your body

Or of fatty covered lungs livers intestines all over staurated fat packets

Watch out advertising spend could be ready to roll in some more dough!!!!!

2:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very interesting read city slicker

what do you do?

tax fatty foods? subsidise fruit & veg?

2:48 pm  
Anonymous Ted Hamming said...

Great extend the image worried to men now and tell us we will be impotent if we puff. What's next will we get cancer too?

NHS stop wasting my tax money on this crap

3:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lovin your livin London blog miss slicker

from a brummy boy wanting to make good

who also smokes m fraid

4:00 pm  
Anonymous Claire said...

The biggest contributor to impotence is lack of regular activity.

So get pounding boys.

4:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And another thing you all --

smokers are between 60% and 300% more likely to contract HIV than nonsmokers. The researchers said they are not sure why the link exists, but they note the increasing evidence that smoking raises the risk of contracting all types of infections, possibly because it might alter the structure of the lungs or weaken the immune system.

So quit already

4:23 pm  
Anonymous Ellie said...

I realize that cigarettes are glamorous and that smoking is a choice that any fool is free to make and that without smokes little dive bars everywhere die faster than stage-4 cancer patients, but… Christ almighty. Why the fuck do people put those things in their mouths?

4:24 pm  
Anonymous Dave, a script writer said...

Not to be flippant or anything, but it's a cheaper, more satisfying, socially acceptable, and self-destructive addiction than drugs or alcohol.

4:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only Satan knows why I started, but I continue to smoke because I'm addicted. The only thing I like about cigarettes is that they satiate my need for...well, for another god damn cigarette.

I can imagine a majority of smokers feel the same way. Unless you're 16 years old or an idiot, I highly doubt most of us find them "cool" or "glamorous."

They say the addiction to cigarettes is about as strong as an addiction to heroin and while I've never had the itch for the latter, I can tell you that being a bitch to nicotine is a bitch.

4:32 pm  
Anonymous Adam said...

I feel you Anonymous.

I quit heroin, I quit cocaine, and I quit drinking alcohol, but the cigarettes have still got me after 28 years.

4:45 pm  
Anonymous gayinbrixton said...

Not to be all Tobacco Research Council-y, but the correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation

Thank you for the moment of sanity amidst the hysteria. Correlation does not prove causation.

Interesting discussion on this, as well as other topics in the AIDS world to be found here:

Let's add up some of the things that can make you more susceptible to "HIV infection"...
dark skin
crystal meth
other recreational drugs

4:57 pm  
Blogger Shep said...

Lis (how familiar!), I have been going mad trying to find the context for the whole Jack Kennedy thing. I couldn't find it anywhere. I kiss you! Thank you for finding it for me!

6:34 pm  
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5:04 am  
Blogger Jamie said...

Another smoker here :-)

If the NHS stopped treating smokers then they should also ban obese people and others who are resposible for their own illness in some way.

Watch the goverment raise taxes if everyone does quit, they would scream about the loss of tax going their way

6:50 am  
Blogger Monique said...

Hmmm that is such an interesting way to guilt people into quitting smoking. But, I suppose maybe it's the ONE thing that will convince people to quit. Who knows, but it doesn't seem like a day goes by without a story in the paper about how much smoking caused illnesses are costing the NHS - so let's hope those smokers get the picture!

9:59 am  
Blogger hungech said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:34 pm  

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