Turn on the television and you are likely to see the latest anti-smoking ads by the Centers for Disease Control. Called “Real Stories: Tips from Former Smokers,” these ads show the devastating, true affects of smoking on real people who are telling their stories to motivate others to quit. Nearly all the stories feature former smokers who started in their teens before they were legal age to purchase or use cigarettes, and most started because it was the cool thing to do or they wanted to fit in with a crowd. One story tells the health effects of secondhand smoke on a young boy whose mother never smoked. The ads are graphic and at times difficult to watch, but the stories show the true cost of smoking, and are more powerful than the warning label on the pack of cigarettes.
Now, art and photography have come together to create new anti-smoking ads to hopefully save lives. While the CDC: Real Stories uses no Photoshop to make the stories easier to handle, art and photography artists are freer to express the devastation of smoking by manipulating the images. Several of the images are shocking, but they get the point across that smoking kills, is a cause of death, or does serious health damage to your body.
Will smokers be shocked into quitting? You be the judge.