Sound familiar? as my token atheist pal said in an email alerting me to Smoke Shock TV Ads, an article in the New York Post about an effort to discourage smoking through portraying the regrets of former smokers.
"An internal memo sent to the anti-smoking group Smokefree NY, and obtained by The Post, shows that the American Legacy Foundation is looking for New Yorkers whose lives have been harmed by smoking to appear in 'a few powerful, reality-based smoke-free commercials.'"
Smokefree NY is looking for a teen who during his life lost a parent to smoking, a woman who has lost her hair due to treatment for a smoking-caused disease, a hospitality worker with lung cancer caused by exposure to secondhand smoke at work, and a woman who uses an oxygen tank to breathe.
"We are actively looking for people in those positions to speak to a camera," says casting director Mimi Webb Miller. "Those kind of truth ads are real effective with kids."
The money that will be used to pay for the ads comes from a settlement with tobacco companies. That is, tobacco profits are underwriting the ads.
However, not everyone is happy with these ads. As the article reports:
"Smokers called the coming ads exploitive. 'They have no shame,' Audrey Silk, co-founder of a New York City-based pro-smoking group, CLASH. 'They'll do anything for the cause.' Silk added the anti-smoking groups 'are starting to sound desperate to me. Oh, I hate them.'"
I am entertaining myself by envisioning a day when abortion clinics will be taxed to pay for television ads written, directed and produced by Silent No More.
Update: Right Left Whatever mentions this and adds a nice illustration of the point.