When we were very young and very stupid, and when we couldn’t pilfer smokes from older brothers or fathers, my friends and I would find discarded cigarettes outside of stores and strip clubs and hepatitis clinics, give them a good brush on the jeans and light them up.
I think we were role models for the cigarette industry — the perfect dupes so enthralled by the coolness of smoking that we risked contracting scary hobo germs to do it.
Just one. That’s all the industry is banking on. That just one of us would get hooked. The Seattle PI’s daddy blog — “Working Dad” — links to a scary stat showing that 4,000 kids smoke their first cigarette each day — and 1 in 4 of them gets hooked.
Thank god Joe Camel is dead, right? Kids no longer have anything to fear.
The anti-smoking group The Truth has a new commercial showing the impact mascots can have on kids. And Camel has again come under fire for its No. 9 brand — marketed in hot pink toward girls. “Barbie Camel,” it’s being called.
I have no idea what I’m going to tell my daughter when she tries her first cigarette — and she will at some point or another, I don’t think any amount of parenting can stop that. I just hope she won’t become the just one.