Culturing Science – biology as relevant to us earthly beings

Quit Smoking: You’re Lucky to Even Exist

Most smokers know exactly what they’re doing.  They know their chances of cancer, the bad smell, the reduced lung capacity.  No matter how much new research surfaces showing that smoking is bad for you, it doesn’t seem to have an impact.

Some agencies have gotten more creative with anti-smoking ads, combining science and anatomy into images to demonstrate what is being done physically to a smoker’s body, such as ashtrays showing lung x-rays, variations on ashen organs, or, my personal favorite, matches as sperm with the headline “smokers make poor swimmers.”  [For a compilation of advertisements, see this post from the design inspiration.]

INPES, Institut national de prévention et d’éducation pour la santé or France’s National Institue for Prevention and Health Education, just released an advertisement that takes a different angle: why would you knowingly destroy your life, which in itself only exists by a slim chance?  The video traces through scientific history — the big bang, rise of life, carbon and nitrogen, dinosaur extinction, down to the moment of fertilization.

Instead of coming off as preachy or condescending, the ad’s wonder at our existence is inspiring for the smoker and non-smoker alike.  I don’t know how truly effective it is as an anti-smoking ad, as most smokers have already fully accepted that they are taking a chance.  However, I would fully endorse this as a general public service announcement to make people aware of how lucky we all are to be alive, and to appreciate that fact alone.

[Thanks to ANIMAL New York for the hat-tip]

Written by Hanner

December 7, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Posted in Art

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. I would also like to join you as you endorse that line: Quit Smoking: You’re Lucky to Even Exist. Even if most smokers just ignore the effects of what they are doing, let us not get discouraged in doing things to help them and in making ads for anti-smoking. I know that time will come that it will sink in deeply in their minds and they will have the desire to stop smoking. I also suggest some efficient steps on the best way to quit smoking

    Ben Adams

    December 21, 2010 at 9:07 pm


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