I picked up Edmonton newspaper See Magazine this evening and was rather surprised.
Why? Well, the 44 page weekly paper contained two full page colour tobacco company ads. Have I been living in a bubble or just not paying attention? I have some vague recollection of something happening with cigarette ads a couple years back, but it’s passed into the mists of time in my mind.
So there we are, two big cigarette company ads with the obligatory Health Canada warning at the bottom of the page.
“WARNING: YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE SMOKING THIS CIGARETTE.”
Here’s a thought: I’m not sure that smokers really care much about second hand smoke. Yes, there are some considerate ones, but I’m sure it’s not top of mind with most.
No, what really surprised me is that what I think of as a socially progressive newspaper would run tobacco ads: advertising for “the man,” corpocracy, massive multinational companies. I’m being facetious, but you get the point. Cigarette companies certainly aren’t worried about your health. The general drift of the articles in See is that they seem to be concerned about you, which is why the cigarette ads stick out like a sore thumb.
I guess it’s OK that one of the cigarette ads runs beside Dan Savage’s sex advice column on making sure you don’t get mistaken for a real rapist when you’re indulging in rape fantasy sex games. Do people still smoke after having sex? You know you’re not supposed to smoke in bed, right? Kitchen table is fine, if that’s where Dan suggests you do it this week.
It’s just business
Of course it’s just business. These days I think newspapers would auction off their mothers if they could put out a few more issues in the black, so a little tobacco advertising isn’t going to hurt, is it?
I don’t know what the figures are, but it seems like half the population smokes in Alberta. Having recently moved from B.C. I’ve noticed many more smokers here than back in Lotusland. Why is that? Is it safer to inhale cigarette smoke than the fumes from the refineries out in Mordor, I mean, Sherwood Park?
I hope See Magazine doesn’t think I’m picking on them. I understand they’re doing it for survival. It would just be nice if there were other advertisers beating down their door to buy two full-page colour ads every week.
They put out a good product, so it’s a shame to see it defiled by tobacco advertising. Isn’t there a law against that?