Warning labels have been used on cigarette packages since 1966 in the United States. Print, radio and television commercials educating us to the hazards of smoking have been offered to us for many years. Finally, regulations that have crippled the tobacco industry, in the name of disease prevention, are passed anew yearly.
I believe smoking is a ridiculous habit with far reaching health repercussions. My only regret over all the private and government intervention into the tobacco industry is the affect it had on Southern American farming.
Having said all that I find the last round of television commercials against smoking repugnant, Here we are offered a glimpse into the lives of people that, through their smoking, have developed severe health hazards. We are treated to people with amputations, lung disease, heart disease and an entire menu of ailments caused by smoking.
My dislike for these commercials is not the subject matter nor even that they exist. But rather the hypocrites that are put in the commercials. These are people that, even after years of being warned, still choose to smoke and in effect caused their own disease. These hypocrites are first in line to accuse the tobacco industry of causing their health problems and in many cases first in line for a monetary settlement.
I am very sorry that they became ill but I have very little sympathy for their circumstance. I believe that anyone who continued smoking, lets say 10 years after the warnings started, are solely responsible for the situation that they now find themselves.
I find particularly sickening the one commercial that had a mother, in a post stroke condition, explaining how she is totally dependent in others for her care. She states, "sometimes my care is done by a visiting caretaker, or a nurse or sometimes like now my son". We are treated to a scene of her son bathing her. A teenagers life in ruins because she decided to disregard the warnings. Her son now a caretaker for her rather than looking to start his own life.
My sympathy runs to the son who, and I realize that this is a commercial, needs to pack his bags and get out of this losers life leaving her to wallow in the mess she created. YES! SHE CREATED!
While the tobacco sold to her was the cause of her disease; her own stupidity is responsible for her situation.
We live in a world where smoking is legal and a major tax revenue source on the one hand and then is vilified for its effect on the other hand.
There will always be people that smoke. Warnings be damned. In my mind the time has come to place the blame for the consequences of smoking on all the parties involved. The tobacco industry and their willing accomplices who light up everyday.