Tag Archives: advertising

Nicorette ad celebrates the glamour of smoking; tobacco control mysteriously silent

by Carl V Phillips

Another in the series of examples of what we can learn if we just look carefully at what “they” are saying.  It is not quite as smack-to-the-head revealing as yesterday’s, and it is not nearly as important as the one before that, which I think is critical for anyone who is serious about advocacy (and not just wanting to engage in feel-good chatter) to understand.  H/t to @MattGluggles for tweeting a video of a Nicorette video advertisement that adulterates various old movies to show the actors sucking on the Nicorette inhaler instead of the cigarettes they were actually smoking.  I have seen it before, though I cannot say for sure whether it was on television.

Without getting into the general crime of advertisers (as well as Disney, Broadway, etc.) trying to misappropriate every great work of art in the human domain, in order to dumb it down and profit from it, we can observe that this is a blatant attempt to celebrate and then borrow the glamour of smoking to sell NRT.  This contrasts with most e-cigarette marketing, that tends to denigrate smoking, or at least apologize for it (“no foul odor”, “does not affect those around you”, etc.).  But I have not heard a peep of complaint about this ad from the usual suspects who complain that e-cigarette marketing somehow glamorizes or “renormalizes” smoking.  I would be surprised if there has been any such peep.

The reality is, of course, that advertisements for a substitute for cigarettes — NRT or e-cigarettes — sends an anti- not pro-smoking message.  The magnitude of any impact is probably pretty minor, but the sign is obviously negative.  Still, if someone believes that the generally information-heavy e-cigarette ads that do not even evoke smoking are pro-smoking, a flashy NRT ad that shows smoking actors using a similar-appearing substitute must be more so.

The anti-THR liars will seek refuge in some silly claim about NRT being government approved.  The response is: “what does that have to do with the glamorizing imagery?”  Just think about just how stupid their claim is.  How can the fact that it is “approved” (which is to say, declared officially by governments to be an effective smoking cessation method — never mind the inaccuracy) have any relevance whatsoever to the question at hand.  If you stab someone in the eye with a Nicorette inhaler in a bar fight, you are not going to be able to defend yourself in court by saying that it is a government approved cessation device.  The approval has nothing to do with either weaponization or glamorization.

This is one for the top file, to always pull out when responding to silly claims that e-cigarette use celebrates and glamorizes smoking.