Guilt used against smokers

A new print campaign launched by Hamburg-based Jung von Matt/Elbe aims to tap into parental guilt in order to encourage fathers to put down the nicotine sticks.

In the series of three posters, the visceral truth of the harm caused second-hand smoking is laid bare in imagery that couples a guilt-ridden father with his forlorn son.

While it is widely accepted that children shouldn’t smoke, many smoking parents overlook the harm that their habit causes to their kids. So, in an effort to emphasise that second-hand smoke causes just as much harm as actual smoking, Jung von Matt/Elbe has shifted the anti-tobacco conversation from smokers to those around them.

But this approach is still mild compared to that which was employed in a recent Finnish campaign that depicted a smoking mother as a psychopath.

The homicidal reference was also previously used by the Chilean Corporation Against Cancer, which compared cigarette smoke to a plastic bag wrapped over a child’s head.               

Interestingly, the Daily Mail reported in February that Britain’s parliament had voted in a ban on smoking in cars when children are being transported.

New Zealand still doesn’t have any legislation that precludes drivers from smoking when there are children in the car, but last year Stuff published an article that called for a ban on smoking in cars.   

This sentiment seems to be catching on with the Ministry of Health, which recently re-aired its ad campaign that villainised parents that smoke when they have children in the car. During the series of TVCs, several parents give disparaging looks to a mother who is smoking, while her kids sit in the backseat.

Quitline, the organisation committed to helping people stop smoking, also used Children’s Day on 2 March to encourage parents to reconsider lighting up in from of their kids.

“We can really make a difference to the health and well-being of children by protecting them from second hand smoke,” said Quitline chief executive Paula Snowden in a release. “We can do this by making our homes and cars smoke-free and calling for the expansion of smoke-free areas.” 

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