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There is a particularly ineffective set of billboards in the philadelphia area depicting cigarettes as instruments of death: i.e. there is a cigarette stuffed into a syringe on one, and on another one there is a cigarette with a bullet tip.

First of all this is stupid. 1) the pictures actually look kind of cool 2) I thought that the cigarette in the shape of a bullet was a cigarette in the shape of a ball-point pen for weeks.

But this is a bit tangential to my point. I smoke. Not a lot -- one or two cigarettes a week -- but enough to want to quit, and every time i see those billboards, I want a smoke. Anti-smoking ads make me think of cigarettes and making me think of cigarettes makes me want one. Even for people who don't and who have never smoked, it introduces smoking and cigarettes into the public consciousness. It makes people think about them more, and makes it a bigger issue, giving people who are potential future smokers more opportunites to decide that they do, in fact, want to try cigarettes.

Now that we have legislation against smoking ads and it's basically impossible to advertise FOR cigarettes in any meaningful way, the only real line from cigarette companies to the public is anti-smoking advertisement. Mark my words, if we got rid of those ads, smoking numbers would drop.

The tobacco companies pulled the wool way down over the eyes of the government when they got the man to force them to spend their own money for anti-smoking ads: all of the sudden, they could have cigarette commercials anywhere they wanted to: even on saturday morning cartoons.

It's just plain stupid.

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