Smoking celebrities have been shamed in a recent ad, designed to deter teenagers from taking up the habit. Those who support the anti-tobacco campaign believe that celebrities are being poor role models by choosing to smoke, especially in public.
Anti-tobacco campaigners believe that celebrities make smoking look cool. That then leads to others taking up the habit because they want to be like their role models. The problem is that many will believe that celebrities should be allowed to do anything they like (within the law) in their personal time. While it may be bad for the health, until it is illegal they are doing nothing wrong.
The ad uses images of the likes of Rihanna, Robert Pattinson and Orlando Bloom with cigarettes in their mouths or hands. However, rather than making it clear they are being poor role models, the ad points out the fact that they are unpaid spokespeople for the tobacco industry. Each time they are photographed with cigarettes, the tobacco industry is getting free marketing out of it.
This is a big concern. Promoting cigarettes on TV or on the radio is banned in many countries around the world. The only way for the tobacco industry to market is through word of mouth or from the images in magazines and online. If the celebrities quit—at least in public—the industry should suffer because of the lack of marketing.
Celebrities are being shamed for their smoking habits in the recent ad. The aim is to encourage the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Moss to stop lighting up, so that teens do not take it up either. Western Boone County High School student Ashley Smith explained that teenagers think it is cool to smoke and that it is just a natural thing to do. If they are not using real tobacco products, teenagers want to use the latest e-cigarettes. Campaigners want to make it seem like smoking is strange, rather than an expected thing.
Encourage people to stop lighting up is something governments have tried to do for a number of years. It is a dangerous habit and the reason for many people to suffer from lung cancer. So far, the rate of teenage smokers has reduced by nine percent according to recent statistics, but that is not considered enough. Campaigners want it to drop to the point where no teenagers smoke.
According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom, quitting will help the bank balance as well as the health. The cost of tobacco products is continually on the rise. The U.K. government continues to increase tax on tobacco, just like many other governments, as a deterrent to smoke. While this is helping, it is not having the full effect that many have hoped it would.
The health benefits of quitting have continually been raised. Some of those have focused on vanity in teens, explaining that smokers will have more wrinkles in their 20s than non-smokers. There is also the element that people prefer kissing non-smokers.
However, it seems like attacking the celebrities is the best way forward. Encouraging them to quit will encourage others. The way the recent anti-tobacco ad has decided to do that is by shaming smoking celebrities.
By Alexandria Ingham