Real Anti-Smoking Ads

Luis Cayetano lives in Australia and writes this excellent blog and this one also.

Luis noticed the recent TCT post commenting on how purportedly anti-smoking advertising in the United States is a pathetic joke, if not slyly pro-smoking. Luis commented:

Here in Australia the anti-smoking ads are way more serious. They show people with mouth cancer, puss coming out of intestines, and lungs with black ooze seeping out of them. It would be an interesting exercise to do a comparative political-economic analysis of tobacco in the two countries.

Here is some proof, as relayed by Luis:

This ad could never run in the USA. Our commercial media outlets would wail that it is too disturbing and clashes with their programming, which is designed to maintain the fatuous mental state that is most conducive to shopping/capitalist ad watching. Indeed, this ad would never get produced in the USA, as our ad-makers know all this and wouldn’t even try to rock the boat.

Luis and I are hoping to put together something longer and more substantial on this topic, but suffice for now to say that Australia has two things the United States does not: a Labor Party and a serious public broadcasting entity.

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Heavy Armor

IIRC, some of the first anti-smoking ads that were made in the wake of the Tobacco settlement were of this quality. They were considered so effective that the Tobacco companies sued (successfully) to have them taken off of the air.

Luis Cayetano

While having a “Labour” party is good, I wouldn’t be too impressed by it. The political spectrum over here has also swung so far to the right that the latest federal election was a close call with the out-and-out reactionary Liberal Party (misnomers aren’t only an American tradition ๐Ÿ˜‰ The ranks of these clowns are peopled largeley by climate change “skeptics”, creationists, market fundamentalists, race baiters, tough-on-crime zealots, war mongers – the previous Liberal government supported Bush’s aggression in Iraq – and war on terror enthusiasts. The Labour Party, on the other hand, are more renowned for sex scandals and… Read more »


The “nobody says anything” criticism is leveled repeatedly at the American people, rather than at the system that places “the people” in a fully marginalized, ignorable position. There is more than enough peeping from the left, in blogs and in desultory talk, and opinion polls register some strongly critical views of the power elite’s various practices – but so what, peeping is just the chattering of caged birds. Are isolated, atomized malcontents obliged to go wear a sandwich board and stand out in the traffic island and await the public’s instant capitulation? If the power to regulate advertising and content… Read more »