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A Cigarette In My Eye

Posted by Chris Orbz / December 29, 2007

No Smoking
A new cigarette product called "Mirage" claims to leave less of a smoke smell when smoked in an enclosed area. As a non-smoker, I'll say I definitely don't want anyone masking their second-hand smoke because it's most certainly not doing me a favour... and that name just makes it sound so consciously sneaky on the smoker's part. (What's the target market exactly - smoking in bars and clubs, parents smoking in the car with kids, teenagers smoking in their bedrooms?)

But, also as a non-smoker, I typically wouldn't be hearing about new cigarette products at all. Except in this case, after a decade-long voluntary ban on advertising in mass-market publications, full-page ads for these cigarettes have been appearing across the country - including in a certain local entertainment weekly.

This is what I've seen, although the Ottawa Citizen tells me Time published a full-page ad in their Canadian edition, along with a number of unnamed others. I'm not a reader of Time magazine, so I wouldn't know.

I am, however, a reader of Eye. Or rather, I was. And speaking not necessarily as a writer here but as a reader there, I've lost an immeasurable amount of respect for Eye for carrying this advertisement, not only because it's a tobacco ad but because it seems to be deliberately encouraging people to expose others to more second-hand smoke.

The pack shown in the ad even has a "Children See, Children Do" warning on it that depicts a woman smoking next to a child in what starts to look like an enclosed room, in the context of the ad.

I'm really surprised, Eye. I know sometimes the ads can get pretty freaky towards the back pages, but tobacco? That's blood money to me, and I feel morally obligated to officially and actually revoke my set of eyeballs from your advertising numbers for as long as this sort of thing is considered acceptable content.

I'm not alone on being displeased with this. Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada wants Health Canada to pull the ads on the basis that they contravene the requirement to not be "likely to create an erroneous impression about the characteristics, health effects or health hazards." They're also asking that the Japanese-backed, Mississauga-based company be investigated and prosecuted over it.

I hadn't realized that the only reason we were free of these sorts of ads in Canada was because tobacco and media companies felt like it. I not only agree that the tobacco company should be investigated over this, but also that there ought to be a solid ban on cigarette advertisements.

The difference between Canada and the States when it comes to tobacco advertising is very readily apparent, and I think our lack of such ads has been a breath of fresh air that I'd rather not see relinquished to second-hand smoke.

Photo: no smoking by blogTO Flickr Pool contributor on-tol-o-gy.

Discussion

13 Comments

Mark / December 29, 2007 at 08:41 pm
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The US has a First Amendment that guarantees the rights of companies to advertise LEGAL products, not just those that are politically popular. Canadian-style ad bans have consistently been struck down in American courts.

Smoking is not healthy, but smokers have a right to know about the products they consume. I've seen plenty of drunk Canadians in my times visiting Ontario bars, and I still see plenty of ads for Labatt and Crown Royal. Maybe they should be banned, too.
nate / December 29, 2007 at 09:54 pm
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Does eye editorial have any say over what ads run? Or does Torstar / Toronto Star just dole it out? It would be interesting to know the mechanics behind the decision to run the ads.

[as contrasted with NOW, which has more independence (but also seems to occasionally make some questionable choices in ad content)]
pavel / December 29, 2007 at 10:40 pm
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lol @ mark posting irrelevant civil liberty factoids. The question isn't whether or not free speech is super awesome for products we hate/dislike - the supreme court of Canada has already conceded that corporations do NOT have the same freedoms of expression that individuals have in advertising their services. Do a little research on the Molson indy and some of the problems Kool and the like have had.

Personally, I find nothing wrong with advertising cigarettes. If they frankly and honestly present the health information then the civil libertarian in me supercedes paternalistic nanny-ing. I noticed the ads for this product ever since the Food Bank issue of Eye, though, and was shocked they'd make such a poor image decision, frankly. Just like these companies have the freedom to advertise this poison, we have the freedom to destroy a significant portion of their ad revenue by refusing to read it. I don't smoke tobacco, and this ad put me in a bad mood - By definition, I'm not a big fan of bad moods, so I likely won't be picking up Eye until they fix this crap.
Ninja-bot / December 30, 2007 at 03:35 am
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If someone's drinking next to me, the alcohol fumes invading my nasal cavity won't do me any harm. Granted, they might start touching my hip (no complaints!), but it will never do any physicial harm to me directly, drunker driving retards aside.

Someone smoking a cigarette next to me at a bus stop? That shit is giving me cancer, and there's no denying it, unless you feel like calling the WWII holocaust a work of fiction, in which case you can fuck yourself in the ear thrice over while stuffing a porcupine up your ass. Cigarettes are guaranteed to kill you if you smoke enough of them, and anyone standing next to you gets to have a taste of the unfiltered smoke which is worse for biological health.

Every last smoker on the planet (and as a former high school smoker myself, I understand what I'm saying) can jump off a bridge into a pit of fire. Your $8 a pack is better spent on an impromptu present for a loved one than it is on a pack of Du Mauriers. There's absolutely ZERO benefit and about a billion consequences to smoking. If you drink enough beer you AT LEAST get a buzz. You might also annoy anyone standing near you, but they won't die from your beer breath, at least.
Colonist / December 30, 2007 at 09:19 am
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I didn't see the ad in Eye, but thanks for writing this article, I will check out 'Mirage' Cigarettes, they sound pretty good.
Phil / December 30, 2007 at 01:10 pm
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Just what everyone needs, a hazardous product that smells nicer.
Jerrold / December 30, 2007 at 01:16 pm
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Is EYE so desperate for advertising dollars that they need to take on this ad? Are they publishing it to benefit from it's controversial nature (even bad press is press)? Does EYE even have a say?

So many questions I'd love to hear answered...
philip m. / December 30, 2007 at 01:34 pm
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@Ninja-bot
you are so fucking witty! how did you get to be so witty?! i wish i could be as snarky as you. you go girl!
Machinator / December 30, 2007 at 11:45 pm
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"Someone smoking a cigarette next to me at a bus stop? That shit is giving me cancer, and there's no denying it, unless you feel like calling the WWII holocaust a work of fiction, in which case you can fuck yourself in the ear thrice over while stuffing a porcupine up your ass."

And you wonder why people laugh at you. What ridiculous hyperbole. You are far more at danger from the exhaust being spewed by the various and sundry automobiles infesting our streets or the pollutants released by certain - common - kinds of plastics than you are someone smoking OUTSIDE next to you.

"Every last smoker on the planet (and as a former high school smoker myself, I understand what I'm saying) can jump off a bridge into a pit of fire."

While I am glad you feel proud and smug in your self-righteous attitude, theres a reason schnooks like yourself only mouth off behind anonymous monikers on the internet - you don't have the nerve to say what you really feel to anyone's face. Sad, and woefully ill-informed.

I would say some Paxil might help you with your aggression. Or, heh, have a smoke?
Chris Orbz / December 31, 2007 at 01:04 am
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Yeah Ryan, quit being so anonymous :P
Adam / December 31, 2007 at 01:15 am
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In fact, I can attest that a certain Ninja-bot would in fact tell me to jump off a bridge into a pit of fire if I smoked cigarettes.
Gregg / January 2, 2008 at 09:58 am
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"in which case you can fuck yourself in the ear thrice over while stuffing a porcupine up your ass"

^^^ Smoking ads .. no way ! now this is acceptable media :(
Electronic Cigarette / January 17, 2013 at 06:09 am
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yes this every one can need to avoid it

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