NYC gets gross with its matchbook covers

Smokers know they risk rotten teeth, blackened lungs and horrifying cancers. But how many of them want to face that reality via gruesome pictures on their matchbooks? Such tactics are common in Canada, Australia and elsewhere, but now New York City is getting into the act. As part of its "Eating you alive" campaign, the city’s health department is placing nasty images on matchbook covers and distributing them in the South Bronx, Harlem and Brooklyn. Of course, those are pretty tough neighborhoods, and a few crusty molars might not deter sales of Camel Lights. Some young smokers will find such placements "so gross, they’re cool" and start trading the things like baseball cards. I’d suggest adapting mousetrap technology for matchbooks and cigarette packages. See if people feel like lighting up after losing a few fingers. Ouch! Sure, it’s illegal now. But in John McCain’s America, who knows?

—Posted by David Gianatasio