01 August 2005

Being the Goddamn Smoker that I Am

Xiaxue's latest blog entry led me to this news article, which in turn led to me doing some silly typing on it.

A new, attractive anti-smoking campaign launched by the Health Promotion Board is targeting women smokers.

Attractive? So the past few ones have been... unattractive? And erm, being an uh, attractive campaign means more attention received and hence more quitters? Hooray? Tsk, I just can't help myself. OK, let's move on.

Dr Lily Neo, Ambassador, "Fresh Air for Women" programme, said: "Every puff of smoke contains 4,000 chemicals out of which 200 of them are poisonous, and about 50 of them are carcinogenic, that means they cause different types of cancer. But more important to women, it's also associated with late pregnancies, infertility, abnormal pregnancies, miscarriages and high infant mortality."

I don't like babies, and I don't intend to have them. I suppose that excuses me altogether. ._. So erm, OK, cancer is the only fate left to me that should make me quit smoking. Oh-kay. *nods*

Jamie Yeo, Ambassador, "Fresh Air for Women" programme, said: "I think if you don't smoke, you get a certain level of respect, and respect makes you sexy and makes you look cool!"

This is... duh. Why will not smoking garner one any respect? And the rest of the sentence doesn't make sense too. Oh, I forgot. That was Jamie Yeo, the same radio deejay who once dedicated Savage Garden's "Crash and Burn" to all who lost family or friends to the Silk Air plane crash in December 1997. *nods some more*

So uncool is smoking that one half of a prominent couple made kicking the habit a condition for her husband.

Claire Chiang, Ambassador, "Fresh Air for Women" programme, said: "That was our courtship days. That was one of the conditions for him. He knew that for him to date me and to court me and finally to marry me, he probably had to kick it off. I tried very hard to say don't smoke. I also learnt that you could also save $4,000 to $5,000 a year by not smoking!"

Isn't this a campaign targeted at women? This "smoking is not cool" factor sounds more like a tagline aimed at teenagers.

And I'm quite sure Claire Chiang had her husband quit smoking for other reasons as well. I guess she doesn't mind being depicted as such, but if I were to quit, I would prefer to quit for more sensible reasons1.

One of my aunts once said, "Smoking is not fashionable anymore." I didn't like her much to begin with, but I totally lost any ounce of respect I might have had for her after that statement.

On the other hand, I found this idea they had with Toxique rather funny. Great idea, in fact, aside from the fact that Singapore banned all forms of tobacco advertising, so I don't see how this can hold true for most local women:

This twist is brought about because tobacco is often marketed to women through the themes of glamour, beauty and social desirability , masking the truth about the negative effects of smoking.

But I do find the idea behind the "Fresh Air for Women"'s site and the various forms of support that they provide interesting...

Research has shown that women who are given encouragement by their friends and loved ones are better able to quit smoking.

And the "Fresh Air for Women" programmes aim to provide that network of support to help women take the first step towards a smoke-free lifestyle.

Come to think of it, it sounds like they're following Alcholics Anonymous's format. No, I don't have a problem with that, since smoking is an addiction. ._.

(Choo Lin, Manager, National Smoking Control Programme, Health Promotion Board said,) "There're also Guardian services - the Shop and Step In - where anytime you're out and about shopping and you feel the urge, to get more information or to get some help, you could just step into a Guardian Pharmacy."

So the staff of Guardian Pharmacy would gladly receive me with open arms should I step in and quiver and sniffle and say, "I need to smoke. But I shouldn't. Help me..." Will I get free nicotine patches? Or erm, they'd sit me down and bring me some tea and counsel me to strengthen my resolve to quit?

I'm sorry (I'm not, really =p), it sounded so funny I just had to make fun of it.

All in all, despite my sarcasm, I actually think this campaign might just work. Especially if they harp on on the "Smoking will give you premature wrinkles and make you look old ahead of time, so why smoke, honey? Quit now~" angle.

And argh, I spent too much time on this. Gotta get some zzz's now.

1 From what was quoted, it seems like she only knew how much money one can save (by not smoking) during the time he was trying to quit and/or after he quit, which means it was not one of the reasons why she wanted him to quit in the first place. And having that paragraph right before her quote makes it sound like the only reason she wanted her husband to quit smoking was because it was uncool. *shrug* That's how it reads to meh.

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