All the cool kids are getting black lung

In Australia we’ve long been used to a lack of cigarette advertising.   The backs of glossy magazines in the 80’s usually featured a full-page cigarette ad set in a tropical paradise, made even better, of course, with the addition of smoking.  For some reason, they never seemed to feature pictures of smokers throwing their butts into the once pristine sand, to be consumed later by the local fauna.

In Japan, with cigarettes retailing at around $3.50 a pack and seemingly few restrictions on advertising, tobacco ads are everywhere. Although I’ve been here for a while, I still find it jarring to see something like this on the side of the road:

This one says “After you’ve savoured one, it will be hard to notice the smell”.   Apparently, I don’t know any smokers who use this brand.

Even better though: this. Black Impact.  Just what every smoker wants to be reminded of as they inhale.

There’s no question that this is a manly cigarette for manly men, as well as David Beckham impersonators wearing hats at jaunty angles.

Black Impact tells your lungs who’s boss.  They don’t co-operate, they know you’ll hit them with soothing, carcinogenic toxins wafting over from flavour country.  If they do co-operate… well, the outcome is the same really.


2 thoughts on “All the cool kids are getting black lung

  1. Does the top one say that you’ll appear as a mirror image of yourself after savouring one too? 😛

    So is the number of people smoking there proportional to the amount of advertising for it?

    • I don’t have any stats, but certainly you can still smoke in a lot of restaurants. Thoughtfully, those restaurants are separated into smoking and non-smoking sections, because smoke has recently become sentient, literate and considerate about signage.

      Cigarette vending machines are also pretty common. The controversy from a couple of years ago was kids buying cigarettes from vending machines, so in true Japanese fashion, they included a facial recognition system that guesses whether the person standing in front of it is a child or adult. However, if you held a Japanese bank note in front of the camera with a picture of an aged emperor on it, it happily accepted that you were 60 years old.

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