Note to Cig Manufacturers: Stop Advertising

By Matt Van Hoven 

When it comes to advertising, cigarettes don’t have a home (anymore). AMC’s MadMen dealt with the topic briefly in the first season, when Lucky Strike was (for sake of the show) in the throws of a sales drought due to new info that suggested (dun dun duuuuun) cigs are unhealthy.

Our hero, Don Draper, realizing that the health angle doesn’t work, changes the campaign’s direction completely &#151 refocusing on the fact that Lucky Strike tobacco is toasted, giving it that amazing taste. Gawd I need a smoke. Anyway, the point is, smoking is a guilty pleasure and should probably be marketed as such.

Early this week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that deceptive advertising used to sell smokes isn’t OK, and smokers can sue manufacturers under state deceptive-advertising laws. The ruling could cost Altria Group Inc., owners of Philip Morris USA, billions of dollars if a group of Maine smokers can convince a state court they were deceived by “light” and “low-tar” advertising.

As any smoker will tell you, it’s all about the cig-break. Killing oneself is somehow cathartic; it’s an escape from whatever bullshit said smoker is dealing with that day. Forget the increased heart rate, strained capillaries and all the other short-term issues (not to mention the long term ones), because smoking is as close to having a drink as we can get during normal work hours. And fuck them if you think they’re taking that away from me smokers. This job is going to kill us anyway, so we might as well go down with a healthy buzz.