A confusing anti-smoking slogan I've seen on several billboards around Richmond, Va. There's also the "my sister never told me..." variant. Both have a picture of two happy looking people on them, an older looking gal or guy with their younger sibling.

These billboards are an example of ad-campaigns that are not well thought out. The wording implies that the kid's brother showed him how to smoke, not the other way around. And, gosh, what a poignant message....the guy showed him how not to smoke, didn't tell him. So don't tell your kids not to smoke. Show them not to smoke. Isn't this a direct contradiction of those "The More You Know" ads on NBC, in which well-known celebrities pitch equally confusing statements about good parenting? I seem to remember hearing those people say "talk to your kids."

Actually, it's often quite a potent form of encouragement, lesson teaching, to show someone rather than tell them. There are times when it is necessary to talk, and times when it is necessary to teach by example. I'd imagine they developed this line of informing the masses because there are so many parents that smoke profusely whilst preaching at their children not to do the same. "I can smoke because I am older than you, and you have to listen to me because I've authority over your actions", is generally pretty ineffective. There is also the idea that the younger siblings idolizing the older will adopt their habits, which actually is the case a lot of the time (though not always).

While it's very easy to criticize, there is some merit to all of this campaigning. If it stops one kid from wasting money on cigarettes, filling their lungs with crap, then I guess it's worth it.

note: I just thought I'd present a different perspective on the matter.
The new strategy seems to be positive reinforcement rather than scare tactics... in the old days, this billboard would have shown the tombstone of the brother.

Maybe this campaign will do a better job... maybe worse... who knows? Kids know what smoking does; but until it's seen as uncool, youth smoking will continue to be a problem. I already see an anti-smoking trend among boys (although it's probably just been replaced by pot and E). Among teenage girls, smoking seems to be more popular than ever. That's in my area; YMMV...

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