Illustration courtesy of MCT
The government’s war against tobacco marches on. Soon, it will be mandatory that all cigarette packs feature a large, disturbing picture intended to show the harmfulness of smoking.
The FDA crafted 36 pictures in all, though that number will be reduced based on the public’s reaction. Nonetheless, there will be at least a handful of images that will soon adorn all cigarette packs.
Some of the pictures include: a man with smoke exiting a hole in his throat, a shot of someone sticking a cigarette in his arm simulating heroine use, a mother blowing smoke directly into her young child’s face, nasty teeth and lungs, and crying babies.
Seeing some of these pictures naturally made my heart swell with compassion and sympathy. How can tobacco companies possibly stay in business when they will be forced to slap these disgusting images on their products? That eventually could lead to a large number of unemployed workers who are unable to provide for their families.
I began thinking of ways the tobacco companies could counter the government’s blatant onslaught to destroy cigarette sales — the sale of a legal product, by the way. I think I found a logical solution to the problem, and it has to do with McDonald’s.
People love eating McDonald’s, but they are even more incentivized to do so during the restaurant’s extremely popular Monopoly game. Patrons purchase food and collect game pieces that can elicit impressive prizes.
This is precisely the route tobacco companies should take. They should accept, even embrace, these new government regulations. Then, instead of licking their wounds or feeling sorry for themselves, they should turn it into a game and have some fun with it.
It would work a little like this: People buy packs of cigarettes, stunning artwork and all. Their goal would to be to attain a wide variety of pictures. Then, after collecting the required number, they would cut out the images and mail them back to the tobacco companies.
Those people would then be entered into a drawing for a grand prize, such as a cruise, cash or a year’s supply of breath mints. People would have fun with these games and might trade with friends to satisfy their needs. It would be a variation of the old Pokemon trading cards. “I’ll trade you two crying babies for one smoking throat.” — “Deal.”
After the tobacco companies collect all of the pictures and dish out the grand prize and any additional prizes, they should shift their attention to government. The companies should place all of the images in a giant box and then mail it to the Capitol Building with a note that says, “Thanks for the ad campaign!”
That would symbolize taking a long, proverbial drag on an unfiltered menthol and then blowing a massive cloud of tobacco-laced smoke straight into the government’s face.