Anti-Smoking Campaign Doesn’t Mess Around

It looks like the heavy guns are out. It’s been decades since the dangers associated with smoking have been realized and revealed. Yet there’s still a fair number of smokers out there.

A few years ago our hometown of Austin banned smoking in public places. This was a huge issue and I clearly remember my husband and I angrily (or I was angry at least) spouting off against each other. Just to note, he’s not a smoker but he was taking the viewpoint of a business owner or, as he’s prone to do, playing devil’s advocate. Once I became aware of Austin’s new guidelines, I started noticing that this wasn’t a random piece of legislation: cities across the globe started issuing their own smoking ban. In fact, even though these smoking bans are relatively new and aren’t found everywhere, I sometimes think of a cigarette as I do a video cassette — an artifact whose time has come and most certainly gone.

Of course I’m totally wrong. I happen to have pretty straight-laced friends who, like myself, are constantly surrounded by kids. A margarita here and there are about as dangerous as we get when it comes to having a good time. In other words we’ve nixed smoking habits and social smoking. But that’s my small world. According to The National Cancer Institute, 20.8% of adults in the United States smoked cigarettes in 2006. The percentages are greater for teens. So the problem remains.

Now some may question my wording… the problem remains. I understand that some don’t consider smoking to be a problem but when, according to NCI statistics, 38,000 deaths are caused by second-hand smoke, I think problem is the correct term to use. After all, a casual puff to you may be somebody else’s funeral.

Considering the still current dangers of smoking, I was intrigued by anti-smoking efforts from Brazil. According to Brazil adopts stronger pictures on cigarette packets in anti-smoking campaign, an article in BMJ, this country is attempting to lower smoking rates by appealing to smokers’ emotions.

Since 2001, Brazil has placed emotion-evoking pictures on cigarette boxes. Recently they upped the ante by using pictures that were found to be more powerful than the previous pictures.

Not sure what to expect, I took a look at the pictures. Now, the text is in Portuguese so I could only make out a few words in the captions but, even without words, the pictures were hard to swallow. There’s a range of images, from a curled up premature baby to a child standing over his father’s (presumably) sick bed to lungs full of cigarettes. Even to me, the images are powerful… and I’m not even trying to ignore them long enough to light up another one.

Pictures are available from Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Cancer.


Morales, K. (2008). Brazil adopts stronger pictures on cigarette packets in antismoking campaign. BMJ, 336(7657), 1333-1333. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.39608.374340.DB

  • Joe Camel

    The study you reference was declared fraudulent by a Federal judge.

    The definitive studies on smoking were conducted back in the fifties when scientists tried and failed to cause diseases in animals with heavy doses of smoke. Anything that disagrees with these findings is a bald faced lie.

  • Anonymous

    The brutal facts are that smoking is NOT a right but a personal habit.

    Other personal habits are spitting, picking your nose, masturbating, and biting your nails. All these are things you may wish to do in private, but not around other people.

    You do NOT have any “right” to impose these personal habits on others, or expect others to endure them, or expect others to pay the costs you impose on yourself.

    Further, those personal habits are more natural. Smoking is NOT natural. No baby is born with a proclivity to smoke. Lighting up that first cigarette was a free choice of every addict, and it was a very foolish choice. All the consequences of the smoker’s folly should be born by the smoker, not imposed on the rest of us.

  • Crusaders say a thing that you know isn’t true, in the hope that if you keep on saying it long enough, it will be true.

    The objection to ‘Crusaders’ is not that they try to make us think as they do, but that they try to make us do as they think!

  • 38,000 deaths are caused by second-hand smoke??
    That is an out and out lie.
    If that was the case I am sure they must be able to produce names and death certificates that state.’This person died from second-hand smoke.
    No one on this planet ever got cancer or died solely from second-hand smoke.

  • boyrock

    My I see the pro-tobacco group have left a few comments – wonder if they also work for the ID lobby? They seem to have the same tactic – “how could we possibly be wrong”? In fact it appears that “Snowbird” makes this argument – just for the pro-tobacco group.

    What I think is funny is that if you suggested we also legalise Marijuana they would be horrified – yet it is not really that different.

    For me I live in a place that banned smoking in ANY public place some time back – bars, clubs, etc… its so much nicer to go out and NOT be subjected to someone else’s addiction.

  • boyrock

    this is a good cross link

    “That said, nicotine as a drug is no laughing matter. Aside from the cancers, emphysema, and heart problems associated with long term smoking, nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs out there. It may not have the dramatic addictive effects associated with heroin or meth, but analyzed as number of reinforcements per dose, nicotine averages a whopping ten reinforcements (puffs) per cigarette (that’s average). And the percentage of people who will try nicotine is far higher than any other drug except alcohol. “

  • It is my ‘right’ to use a legal product

  • A smoking bans means..It is against the law to use or permit a legal product on ‘private’ property.
    Is this the American Way??

  • The owner has the right to use or permit a legal product on his property.
    The customer has the ‘right’ to not enter his venue.
    Choices is the name of the game in America

  • TiredOfLyingNanniess

    I had to laugh at the poster who doesn’t want to be subjected to someone addiction when he walks into a bar. Do you think you are walking into a Sunday school ice cream social where near beer and Shirley Temples are a little too frisky?

    Right……alcohol is just water. Indeed. You never see addicted people in bars when the smokers are gone….right.

    Lay some more wisdom on me ding-a-ling.

    Drink just a teeny teeny bit too much of this “water” and see if a cop agrees with you when you beg him to not have to walk the line.

    Bar are not health spas.

    Nannies can stay out. They do anyway whether or not smoking is going on inside or not.
    The few nannies out there that actually do walk into these places once in a blue moon can’t sustain these bars’ businesses for long.

  • TiredOfLyingNannies

    The pharma shill pushing the nic vaccine…..

    What is this post-Chantix snake oil…already??

    Just ask the FAA what they think about Chantix use among their employees.

  • History Buff

    It is NOT hard to see who the writer is tied to. The RWJF money that bought negative studies and bought the bans with millions of dollars in GRANTS, goes far.

    I have to ask:

    Since tobacco is in the same FOOD group as broccoli, tomato, potato, green pepper and other foods, ALL containing nicotine, do you have any insight as to when those foods will also be put on the ban list and also outlawed 25 feet from any door? I gather many restaurants had best get prepared.

  • mandyv

    Anonymous, I believe all those other personal habits people have, are not subject to legalised “theft” tax though.
    I also have to ask myself, are these the words of sane men, or dictators, tolerance is a wonderful thing.
    Weyco and Banzhaf

    Do you smoke-haters force others to breath in your noxious, carcinogenic perfumes,after-shave and deodrants, in the so called clean air experiment?

    Not that I would want them banned!
    3. BENZYL ACETATE (in: perfume, cologne, shampoo, fabric softener, stickup air freshener, dishwashing liquid and detergent, soap, hairspray, bleach, after shave, deodorants)
    Carcinogenic (linked to pancreatic cancer); “From vapors: irritating to eyes and respiratory passages, exciting cough.” “In mice: hyperanemia of the lungs.” “Can be absorbed through the skin causing systemic effects.” “Do not flush to sewer.” for tolerant non-smokers and smokers alike, please come and join us. for those who have not been brainwashed and still have open minds

  • VJ Sleight

    My father passed away from bladder cancer caused by secondhand smoke. The 38,000 is actually a low number. 3000 are diagnosed with lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke and 50,000 from heart disease. The carbon monxide in smoke is deadly to someone prone to heart disease.
    The components of the sidestream smoke coming off the tip of the cigarette are formed at a lower temperature, since oxygen is not being pulled through it, so more cancer causing substances are created at this lower temperature. The smoke is also not being filtered by either the cigarettes filter, nor the smokers body. Compare the color of the smoke coming out a smokers mouth and the color of the smoke coming off the tip of the cigarette–you can see the difference.
    For free tips on how to help a loved one quit or to quit yourself, visit:
    VJ Sleight
    Queen of Quitting

    • harleyrider1978

      Lung Cancer a Different Disease in Smokers and Nonsmokers

      PHILADELPHIA — Lung cancer that develops in smokers is not the same disease as lung cancer that develops in people who’ve never touched a cigarette, a new study finds.

      There are nearly twice as many DNA changes in the tumors of people who have never smoked than in the tumors of people who smoke, which suggests the cancer of “never-smokers” is different from smokers’ cancer, said Kelsie Thu, a Ph.D. candidate at the BC Cancer Research Center in Canada.

      “We think this finding provides evidence that never-smoker and smoker lung cancers are different, and suggests they arise through different molecular pathways,” Thu told MyHealthNewsDaily. “Never-smokers might be exposed to a carcinogen, not from cigarettes, that causes their tumors to have more DNA alterations and promotes lung cancer development.”

      Oh ya Ive read it plenty of times,what it proves is you dont find the same claimed cancers in smokers as in non-smokers and it proves that shs/ets doesnt cause cancer in non-smokers. Nor does it prove the end points in purported smoking related cancer! Now if you accept epidemiology as proof which I dont. The above findings would prove that the low relative risk factors in second hand smoke studies were correct that second hand smoke will not correlate to it causing cancer at all. Which is whats been known for a long long time by those who dont have an advocacy job to do. In order to prove something you have to connect the end points to complete the cycle of disease causation. In fact in nearly 80 years of research they have no more proof that smoking causes anything in anyone than they had back in 1920.

      In order for smoking related cancers to be accurate we would expect to see a 100% causation from smoking in relationship to purported cancers,But this is not the case. When we find that 94% of life long smokers never develop any cancers at all. This leaves genetic flukes as the likely pathway in certain individuals. Did something in the smoke cause it or something else these smokers were also around like on the job or high radon conditions within their own home. Thats where it is,they dont know one way or the other. In the end it may be found that certain individuals are just prone to these types of cancers genetically. But the overwhelming majority of cancers is in folks over 70 in fact its a disease of the old especially at a time when age has taken a toll on the immune system but still doesnt explain why the oldest lived people were all smokers!

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  • niceadorn

    I think those people who want to smoke can smoke lonely,then other people can not be second-smoking. This is the idea of mine.


  • Tom

    No one on this planet ever got cancer solely from second-hand smoke.

  • Richard Eis

    The smoke stinks.
    It turns everything yellow.
    It makes it dificult to breath when it fills the room and anyone who thinks that breathing in ash and chemicals into their lungs is not hurting them needs a reality check.

    Just because the government is trying help doesn’t mean that it must be wrong and we are heading towards a nanny state. And quite frankly when you need to be sucking on something all day to keep you happy, perhaps a nanny state is exactly appropriate for you.

  • virgilk

    Are you worried about your right to breath clean air? I wouldn’t mind a little of it myself. I have yet to find anyone who can find it.

    It’s not in your homes because of the materials it’s built from.
    It’s not in your own Kitchen because of cleaning products.
    It’s not in your yard because of the insecticides you spray.
    It’s not in your car because of the materials used in the upholstery and the fumes that come into your car while driving.
    It won’t be anywhere outside because of the pollution due to gas/diesel engines.
    Look up Burning Issues and see the chart. Be sure to notice the least harmful item on the list.
    Ignore the fact that the EPA Report was vacated as fraudulent.
    Ignore over 150+ studies that show no harm from SHS.
    They don’t tell us that living close to major traffic hi-ways or large Urban areas increase the incidence of Cancer or Heart Disease by 50% or more.
    Ignore the businesses going broke across the Country because of Bans.
    What we do have, are agencies using misinformation to control others for profit not health.

    TFK is just another so-called Non-Profit to throw money into. I always thought Non-Profits were supposed to stay out of advocacy in politics or loose their Non-Profit status. It’s an easy way to keep a six figure income for those who can’t hold a real job. The same goes for the other Non-Profits like the ACS, ALA etc.

  • Tom

    Second hand smoke kills…WOW

    I wonder how many dead bodys they will find when all those people in California breathes all that smoke from those nasty fires??

  • Stevo

    “My father passed away from bladder cancer caused by secondhand smoke. ”

    The medical profession are using passive smoking as a cause of a whole range of diseases that they are unwilling or unable to identify the cause of. The truth is many of these diseases are genetically related because we have not been allowing evolution to take its natural path.

  • BGoodman

    Remember, you are a free people.


  • drogan

    VJ Sleight,“My father passed away from bladder cancer caused by secondhand smoke. ” Mom must have been blowin smoke into what??

  • Debra

    Everyone has the right to make their own choices but think about the rights of the others around you when you light up. The smoke gets on everything and you are left with an unpleasant smell.

  • Myriam Seiersen

    Does anybody know of any forums that discuss this issue in additional depth? I am interested.

J. R. White

J. R. White is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. She has over five years of experience in education and pedagogy.

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