Tuesday, September 23, 2008


We don't know if we should be applauding, tossing our cookies, or yelling obscenities about this report from the New York Times' Sewell Chan detailing the latest step in the city's anti-smoking campaign.

The city will be giving out matchbooks emblazoned with disturbing images of tumors, tooth decay, and blackened lungs.

The following is from the Times article:

"The matchbooks, part of the “Eating You Alive” advertising campaign unveiled this year, are being distributed free at 132 cigarette retailers in the South Bronx, central and East Harlem and northern and central Brooklyn — neighborhoods where smoking has not decreased to the degree it has in other parts of the city." [NY Times, Sewell Chan]

The campaign itself, although gross, makes sense and may be effective in helping smokers kick the habit. However, why not just give them out all over the city? It can't be that expensive to manufacture and distribute these things. And smokers on the Upper West Side (even if there are less of them) need to quit just as badly as those on Willis Avenue in SoBro.

I dunno, seems to me like the campaign is perpetuating the stereotypical image of the ghetto by singling out these historically marginalized hoods, rather than just canvassing the whole city. Something tells me the residents of swanky co-ops along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan wouldn't want these nasty matchbooks turning into litter on their streets and there would be an outpouring of protest. What do you guys think? Sometimes we overreact here at the BoogieDowner... are we getting uppity over nothing?

*Image courtesy of NYC DOHMH*


1 comment:

Aidan said...

You're overreacting.