If you watch TV at night you might have seen a plethora of different anti-smoking ads targeted toward millennials. These anti-smoking ads stretch the truth and make gross exaggerations toward the corporations that make cigarettes and the companies that market them. The fact of the matter is that these commercials alienate smokers and are just plain annoying. These commercials ignore the fact that addiction is a disease and they make it seem like it’s a choice someone actively made.
The most ignorant part of these commercials is that they imply marketing is inherently racist. The most echoed talking point in these commercials is that cigarette marketing companies actively target low-class neighborhoods and people of color. In reality, it’s just plain untrue. Open up any magazine that’s geared toward men and you’ll see an ad for Marlboro or Camels. This includes Maxim magazine, Sports Illustrated or even car and motorcycle magazines. These commercials pick out the worst offenders in the marketing department and apply it to all of the companies — That’s just plain wrong.
Are there marketing campaigns that are overly aggressive? Yes, yes there are. Is smoking really a big deal that you need to go out and demonize every person who smokes? No. These commercials are a waste of time, energy, and money. If these government-funded organizations really want people to stop smoking, they should change their own marketing strategy. Instead of scaring people into submission and using propaganda techniques maybe they should start providing real facts and start educating people instead of virtue signaling them and making them feel bad.
Until these anti-smoking TV ads change, nobody will take them seriously.