By James Teeter
Cigarettes, whether you smoke them or not, are a big part of our society, shown in ads, movies, magazines and billboards. Perhaps you just have a family member who smokes on a daily basis.
Tobacco has been around for hundreds of years, all the way back to the Native Americans smoking it in their peace pipes or using it as a trade offering.
In this day and age, tobacco is used for recreational purposes.
With over 50 different types of cigarettes on the market, it’s hard to ignore the growing temptation in the world.
A major enemy that has been plaguing the fight against tobacco is Philip Morris.
One of the biggest tobacco companies in the world, Philip Morris has launched legal actions against the Australian government after they passed a law that would stop tobacco companies from making appealing logos on their packs of cigarettes.
Instead of their slick logos, they would be replaced with graphic pictures of a smokers’ diseased lungs, three-year-olds smoking, or other pictures that would make people consider dropping the habit.
Supposedly, this would make people more aware of the dangers of smoking. It did. Dramatically.
There have been some measurable effects of the new packaging.
Surveys of 6,000 school students aged 12 to 17 were conducted before and after the introduction of the packaging.
Those interviewed after the new packaging had more negative attitudes towards smoking.
In other countries such as Indonesia, many children are smoking.
There is a “smoking 2-year-old” who has been all over social media, newspapers and magazines, causing much controversy.
Of course, people understand that it is horrendous for someone to allow their 2-year-old to smoke.
The controversy behind the fight for the rights on tobacco packaging has caught the attention of John Oliver, host of “Last Week Tonight,” which airs on HBO.
Oliver has been making jokes over this whole thing with Phillip Morris Cooperation suing the Australian government, and several small island nations.
Oliver has given Phillip Morris an idea for a new advertising mascot: “Jeff, the Diseased Lung.”
He is a cross between what is obviously a lung that has been damaged by smoking for many years, and the original Marlboro cowboy.
Jeff is a spongy, sad, mottled lung shape, with a face and a cowboy hat.
Oliver said, “ I offer you this mascot to help you in any way that it can.”
Many have found Jeff to be funny and a well-placed jab at Phillip Morris.