The smoking fad will never go away - Oleksii Koval window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-7WDJPX7MWF');

Is it true that smoking is a tribute to fashion? What we see on TV, read in magazines, see around us – this is fashion. Imposed stereotypes seem promising to us and we try to adhere to them to the best of our ability. Since our capabilities rarely coincide with our desires, we take the easiest – what we can afford without much sacrifice and expense, for example, a pack of cigarettes. Cigarettes… How much has been written about them, shot in films, said! But a living person always remains aloof. The problems of smoking, the influence of advertising are discussed, certain steps are taken to combat smoking, and scary things are written on packets. inscriptions Smoking can kill – everyone knows that, but they do not throw away a lit cigarette with horror, and the number of smokers, unfortunately, continues to grow. Amazing, isn’t it?

Maybe we are doing something wrong? Perhaps the reason for such an urge to smoke is advertising, a third of which is written off with warning labels? How can advertising even make someone smoke? This is not a new kind of ice cream – it is sweet, and we know it, we want to try it. So is chewing gum, clothes that you can try on and decide if they fit or not. So how do we start smoking anyway? In most cases, the first cigarette is given to us by a “good” friend, friend, colleague, for girls – by a pitiful, sympathetic friend who wants to “help”. The question, why do we take a cigarette? Why, after the first puff, when the smoke gets into the throat and causes a convulsive cough, do we not throw it away, but after a while continue to try again and again until we achieve our goal – we become completely voluntarily addicted to nicotine, we lure ourselves into a trap?

We knew we could die from a cigarette, but we took it! This problem is the basis of the popularity of tobacco smoking. Let’s analyze it well, understand its essence, depth and find an unequivocal answer. Imagine that you saw an advertisement for a new brand of cakes on TV. You bought them, tried them, and were amazed by their disgusting taste, but you did not throw them away, but continued to eat them, grimacing in disgust, choking on them, swallowing them, buying the next pack and eating dozens, hundreds of packages, until you got used to it to their disgusting taste! This model is quite applicable to novice smokers. Who among us liked the first puffs, the feeling of smoke in the lungs and the convulsive cough? But we tried again until we got used to it! What’s more, we were missing this! Addiction has changed our lives so much that we have forgotten what it is like to be a smoker.

It is my deep conviction that all anti-smoking advertising will always be doomed to failure as long as the modern world of cinema exists as it is now, because there is not just the promotion of cigarettes, but the imposition of a positive stereotype cigarettes and smoker. It looks innocent enough. A superhero who killed all the criminals, wiped the sweat from his forehead and smoked a cigarette… What is this, you say? It is these few seconds of the film that will never even equalize the score in the fight against smoking, these seconds contribute to the emergence of millions of new people addicted to nicotine and billions in revenue for tobacco campaigns. When I hear about the budget of the film, it amazes me. Almost all the movies we watch should have been financed by tobacco companies, and we as viewers should have been compensated for the damages caused by watching them. Sound funny? At first glance, yes. But let’s delve a little deeper into the history of cinema in order to better understand the difference in the views of that time and today, the type of propaganda and advertising of smoking in motion pictures.

We do not touch on historical films, where a cigarette or a pipe is almost always present in the foreground. Let’s talk about films, starting with Soviet cinema. In the 60s and 80s, cigarettes were always advertised and encouraged (call it what you want) in Soviet cinema. I found one of the first advertisements for cigarettes in the film “You can’t change the meeting place” – the first Soviet serial film, which the whole country watched with bated breath. Now it is difficult to find a resident of the CIS who would not watch this film. Pay attention! In the third series, Sharapov, waiting for his girlfriend Varvara on a date, walks by a billboard where it is written in capital letters: “I don’t complain about cigarettes, I smoke myself and I advise you”, “Delhi” cigarettes, a new standard – this was one of the first advertisements cigarettes fortunately because of the small kinescopes of old TVs and poor picture quality. Most likely, no one paid attention to this advertisement then, and it will not have an impact on the modern TV viewer (more on that later). Then advertising began to acquire a confident and obsessive character. In the film “Dima Horin’s Career”, it becomes immediately clear from the first seconds that only a real man (that is, a smoker) can achieve anything, even reaching the moon.

The film ends rather ruthlessly for non-smokers. A feeble-minded accountant who could do nothing in life but count money, which was repeatedly repeated in the film, became a real man by the end of the film, capable of doing any physical work, such as felling wood, concrete piles under power lines. Finally, he lit a cigarette, to which, judging by the reaction, his chosen one reacted with joy. Such were the samples of the past. Finally, the slogan “live beautifully” was fully realized. in the movie “Ivan Vasylovich changes his profession”, when during the performance of the song Leonid Kuravlyov, who temporarily fulfills the duties of Prince Miloslavsky, a pack of Marlboros was simply spectacularly presented! The whole country realized that smoking is really beautiful!

How could you not smoke after such a large-scale agitation and just an obsessive idea? No one usually ran to the store for cigarettes alone. There were some cases when young people wanted to appear as mature men while buying cigarettes. But those were isolated cases. A common practice is to treat yourself to a cigarette. Friends who care about each other and offer to smoke the first cigarette, was it possible to refuse? Unfortunately, it was believed that you cannot be a real man without a cigarette. The most persistent ones were immediately raised to laughter, saying something about their young age, etc. Unpleasant things. But why refuse? A cigarette, projected by movies, became a measure of courage and strength of a real man, and not smoked only by weaklings and athletes who were forbidden by the coach (fortunately for them).

Let’s recall one of the most beautiful films by Eduard Ryazanov, “Service Romance”. Virochka’s secretary calls her husband: “Guess what I’m smoking now? Marlboro!” The new deputy from the man’s shoulder threw a whole block”, – these words hit the memory of the whole country. Cigarettes became a fashionable cult. Only people who follow fashion, dress in imported clothes, could show off Marlboro, it was not available to tens of millions. But , watching the good life on TV, the whole country learned to smoke, of course, not Marlboro, but those cigarettes that the tobacco industry oversupplied the country in the past. The cigarette penetrated all strata and was available to everyone from the cheapest cigarettes without a filter “Prima” for twenty “Cosmos” cigarettes with a filter in hard packaging.

A little later, an advertisement for women’s smoking appeared. Dozens of films were created in which cigarettes opened the door to a woman’s world of men and changed the attitude towards them as serious, business women. “Moscow does not believe in tears”, “Service novel”, “Vysota”, these three films feature women from different social strata, from working secretaries and teachers, to scientists and directors of institutes, responsible employees. The split second in these films had a tremendous impact on women and their attitudes towards cigarettes. A serious, business woman had to smoke, for example, director Lyudmila Prokopivna. And how does a simple Soviet girl get to know a docent? That’s right, smoke! Simple but effective advertising isn’t it? The Soviet education system fought against drunkenness, which reduces production and the quality of work.

Cigarettes were encouraged, with the exception of some professions. I managed to find phrases of negative reviews in only a few films, if not about smoking, but at least smoking places. (Train compartment, apartment, house). For example, in the film “The Girl Without an Address”, Katya Ivanova kicks smokers out of the compartment. In the movie The House We Live in, the son, who has returned from the army, smokes cigarettes one by one until the entire apartment is filled with smoke, after which his mother asks him to go out to smoke in the corridor. The movie “Don’t shoot the white swans”, the wife asks the husband to smoke outside, not in the house where there is a baby. I described only the films that came to mind. I was amazed at the power of smoking propaganda! The TV viewer is simply doomed, he was left with no chance to remain a non-smoker. This is how the whole country was brought up. Let’s move on to foreign films. Let’s start with the fairly recent ones – “Strong Peanut”. Could you please explain to me the few episodes where John searched the pockets of the dead terrorists for cigarettes and found them happy, lighting something that made a difference in the movie?

Wouldn’t smoking with the terrorist on the stairs, but simply talking to him, change the plot? Indeed, those few minutes were needed. smoking in a movie? It seems to me that even without the four moments where John McClane smokes, he would still be the winner. But why do we need this hidden advertising of cigarettes and why does the World Health Organization not pay attention to it? By the way, John McLain smoked four times during the hour and a half while the film “Strong Nut” was playing. This is quite a strong addiction, which is rare, and only once in Peanuts 3, it’s strange, isn’t it? Maybe I’m citing old movies as an example? Let’s look at the novelty. The film with a multi-million budget “Avatar”. As early as the tenth minute, the audience sees their favorite actress Sigourney Weaver. But how does she appear in the film? “Who took my damn cigarettes,” she says, and smokes for the next four minutes! (this is from fourteen minutes of the watched film!) The viewer, even without focusing on this, will still not be able to remember such a cigarette advertisement performed by a popular actress. Unfortunately, there are many such examples.

The effectiveness of advertising in movies is difficult to overestimate, it is huge. The influence of films on the audience is enormous. The situation with anti-tobacco propaganda will always be quite sad until we pay attention to the movies that educate their audience and promote smoking in millions of cinemas, on hundreds of millions of televisions around the world. In order to at least somehow even the score, it is necessary to warn the viewer that the film contains shots of smoking, that tobacco in real life kills millions of people all over the planet. You should not go to this premiere if you want to help the millions dying from diseases acquired thanks to cigarettes and not become one of the future millions who will die in the next few years from a deadly habit.

The advertising weight of one smoked cigarette in the film can be compared to a lump of snow. Unfortunately, millions of billboards with anti-cigarette advertisements cannot. to match the ten-second segment of the movie “Avatar”. Bigboards are passive, they only inform, and everyone wants to be a celebrity, at least in their dreams. Imagine the weight and cost of such advertising – hundreds of thousands of new smokers, even if not immediately, not instantly, no one will run to the store for cigarettes from the cinema. But in the future, these seconds will float in the memory at an inappropriate moment, curiosity will be awakened by the offered cigarette. it will be very difficult to refuse. Most will take it, thereby bringing billions in daily profits to tobacco companies around the world. Perhaps it would be appropriate to create a symbol and oblige the labeling of posters, to warn that the film contains propaganda footage. smoking As long as the world community does not take practical steps forward in this direction, the smoking fad will never pass and the chances of winning, and not just fighting against cigarettes, will be minimal.

The article was published in “Ukrainian Pravda” on February 10, 2010