A South Korean smokers group is upset about a striking anti-smoking commercial which equates buying cigarettes with buying disease.
The 44-second ad produced by the government’s health ministry shows smokers from various demographics approaching a store counter to buy cigarettes. However, instead of asking for their brand of choice, they instead ask the assistant to give them a serious health disease.
“Give me a lung cancer,” one person says, before the shop assistant hands them a pack of cigarettes. Others enter the store in succession –each asking for a different disease.
All the while, a figure of them pounds on the glass–their seeming conscious–begging them not to make the purchase.
The commercial was launched this month and is part of the “Smoking is a Disease” campaign, a government drive in a country where 44% of men smoke.
An online community called “I Love Smoking,” which previously challenged anti-smoking policies, is up in arms again.
“The ministry’s video has clearly crossed the line,” the group said in a statement.
“If smoking is a disease, drinking is a disease because it causes liver problems and eating fast food is also a disease as it brings about obesity. It is a jump of logic and discriminates against smokers.”
Aone ministry official told the Korea Herald that the government went with this commercial after a previous spot was said to be “not strong enough”.
Smokers Angry Saying South Korean anti-smoking Commercial