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Archive for July, 2012

SPAIN: VANITY FAIR ‘RETRO’ COVER BEHIND THE TIMES

27 Jul, 12 | by Becky Freeman, Web Editor

by Marita Hefler, TC News Editor
Vanity Fair magazine is well-known for its iconic covers – more than 20 years ago, it caused quite a stir when it featured US actress Demi Moore naked and pregnant; a cover now widely considered ground breaking. However it seems to have seriously misjudged the times with the July 2012 cover of the Spanish edition, featuring Columbian/US actress Sofia Vergara – with a cigarette. Clearly attempting to evoke ‘old-style glamour’ the reaction in reader comments and blogs has been more a case of ‘she’s hot, the cigarette is definitely not’. While the fashion industry is often still happy to glamorise smoking, after decades of health education and tobacco control initiatives, it seems the public is increasingly sceptical.

a wonderland of happiness

25 Jul, 12 | by Becky Freeman, Web Editor

Picture a cigarette packet in your head. What’s the first thing that springs to mind? The gory health warnings? Probably not. If you have ever smoked, then no doubt an image of your preferred brand immediately pops in to your head. Even nonsmokers can easily describe the sleek and eye catching packages that expertly disguise the cancer sticks nestled inside.

Even though cigarette advertising has long been banned in many nations, cigarette packages themselves serve as mini portable billboards. Every time a cigarette pack is fished out of a handbag or laid out on table it says something about the smoker. These highly stylized packages reassure us that cigarettes are enjoyable, fun, sophisticated or perhaps even safe.

Maybe you’re not convinced that a cigarette pack can do all that. Watch this video and your mind might just be changed:

In December 2012, Australia is set to become the first country in the world to require that all cigarette packs be sold in plain standardised packaging. There is no single policy that is the magic silver bullet that will see smoking rates plummet to zero overnight. But plain packaging is yet another nail in the coffin for this deceptive industry.

Hey buddy, got a light?

11 Jul, 12 | by Becky Freeman, Web Editor

Most smokers are happy to light a stranger’s cigarette, but what if that stranger was a child? Watch this and see what happens…

As a colleague noted, the best part about this video is that it turns the “kids shouldn’t smoke” message on its head. I completely agree. It is well established that the most effective way to prevent children from taking up smoking is to reduce smoking by adults. When the smokers in this video were confronted by their own words to the children that smoking is bad for you and to give up, it forced them to consider their own behaviour. Contrary to popular myth, children and teens don’t smoke in order to rebel, they smoke to emulate the adults around them. That’s why the children of smokers are more likely to be smokers themselves.

This ad has only been released online and has so far garnered more than 350,000 views in less than three weeks. Not bad for a health promotion message, but I think it warrants at least ten times that many views. I urge you to share it with the smokers in your life who might need a little extra motivation to try and quit.

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