Very graphic anti-smoking ad spots

I just wrote an email to my local Eyewitness News program informing them that I am very disturbed by a new anti-smoking campaign which they run during the 5pm news hour which depicts a woman in bed dying, gasping for air and suffering immensely.

While I share the desire to stop folks smoking, I actually find myself running to turn the channel for this ad. You see, my mom passed away from lung cancer one year ago this week and I last saw her in this very same condition, sounds and all.

I am usually not squeamish but I actually find this commercial traumatizing. There is not even a graphic content warning :(.

I watch very little TV, but what happened to the days of *Pitch In *and *Only YOU can prevent forest fires *style ad campaigns? Have we lost all sense of decency and compassion for suffering?

While I agree that such an ad can be traumatizing, I have to say that YES much of society HAS lost a lot of what we would call “good taste”. Given what kids are exposed to today sex, violence, graphic movies etc, the anti-smoking ads have to keep up I guess.

I’m sorry for you loss and the only thing I can think to say is that each time you see this commercial, say a prayer for the repose of your mother’s soul and that people will heed the warning of that ad before they too have to subject their loved ones to such a scene.


I hate those stupid ads, I don’t see why they are allowed and who put them on the air. They are graphic and disgusting. I always flip the channel when I see them.

I have not seen the ads but I have to say that a long time ago I thought of two ideas for anti-smoking ads, one of which probably would fit in this same sort of discusting catagory.

The one would work well in either print or TV, the other would be more effective on TV.
The first would show a horse, in full western saddle and gear, grazing among headstones.
The second would show a hospital bed with a person hooked up to all sorts of equipment.
The tag line for both would be…
“Welcome to Marlboro Country”.

Of course I know you couldn’t use a brand name like that, but I always liked the idea none-the-less.

I think all of these types of commercials, whether the ones the OP is talking about, or the ones I suggest above, would fall under the heading of “tough Love”…


The point of the ads are to show the truth of smoking. They are disgusting and disturbing because smoking is exactly that. In order to get through to smokers, such a graphic approach is needed.

These ads are originally from Australia, where they have been very effective in getting people to quit.

Just wait until you see the one where they show mouth cancer.

I guess upon further reflection, we do indeed live in a culture of death as JPII called it, so death and suffering has a spectator grip on audiences today.

It just saddens me that that cancer and terrible suffering as depicted can come from sources other than smoking and the ad makers have no sense of human dignity. Network TV would never allow a graphic abortion commercial to run which would have the same lack of dignity impact on me.

The reason they won’t allow graphic abortion commercials is political and economic. It has nothing to do with sensibilities. All of the things that they DO allow on TV is continual evidence of this.


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