It reminds me a little of the 10:10 “Your Choice” video, where anyone who was sceptical about global warming was blown up. This one is similarly violent. Smoking a cigarette is portrayed as being no different from punching yourself in the face. And offering anyone else a cigarette or smoking a cigarette in a room with other people is no different from punching them in the face.
Probably, as with 10:10, its producers thought it was funny. But, as with 10:10, they say far more about themselves than they do about smokers. The 10:10 video showed that the people who made it really wanted to blow up climate sceptics, and this new video shows that the people who made it really want to punch smokers in the face.
But it also shows how distorted their thinking about smoking has become. For smoking a cigarette is in no sense equivalent to punching yourself in the face. Smoking a cigarette is a pleasure, not a pain. If smoking a cigarette were no different from punching yourself in the face, nobody would do it. Because nobody punches themselves in the face.
It ends by asking the question: “Do you really want a hit along with your coffee?” Yet a cup of coffee has at least as much of a ‘hit’ as a cigarette – perhaps more. If this had been an anti-coffee video, the cup of coffee could have been portrayed as poison that was killing the people who drank it. And since coffee has a strong smell, it could also be portrayed as killing everyone else nearby. It’s just an accident that it’s tobacco rather than coffee that is the target of this video. After all, coffee has had its detractors as well.
All this video really shows is that the people who made it abhor smoking, and want to get more people to think the way they do. But the real message of it, for many people, will be just how utterly twisted and distorted the way they think about smoking really is.
And that’s why it should, like 10:10, get the widest possible airing.