Why Does the Media Still Glamorize Smoking?

In our generation, we grew up in a type of world that wanted to be clean, friendly, and healthy. We were the generation that started to recycle, accepted everyone for who they were, and took efforts in our diet to help us live longer and be healthier.

 It is 2007 now. As I flip through my monthly fashion magazines, somehow I land on a cardboard page, so thick that it’s the first page you land on if you absent-mindedly open the magazine. It’s an advertisement for Camel No. 9 cigarettes. It has an attractive black packaging with accents of pink and green. Oh, and the 100’s (a longer version of the standard cigarette) are now re-named “Stilettos”. Staring at this ad, I can’t help but wonder: have we regressed back to the 60s and 70s when smoking was attractive?

This pack of Camel No. 9 reminds me of back when they came out with Virginia Slims to target women. Did it do well? I don’t know, I was too young to wonder about cigarette sales. But these No. 9s are taking the fashion world by a storm (apparently). I see this ad in a dozen different magazines, all alluding to the sexiness and femininity of women. I admit, it does look pretty cute. Almost a perfect accessory in your bag. But what kind of signals are these sending out to us?

Whether you’re a smoker or non, it’s interesting how this change in our way of living came about. Even with all the”Truth” television ads, I can still see how smoking is being glamorized in the media. Sienna Miller (playing fashion icon Edie Sedgwick) in Factory Girl is constantly smoking. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are known to chain-smoke in their interviews. Kate Moss supposedly has 40 cigarettes a day! With our role-models smoking, it doesn’t quite give us the clear message that was once prevalent back in the 90s.

I’m not trying to say “oh, you shouldn’t smoke” or “smoking is cool”. I’m merely trying to figure out what a cigarette means in our life. Are we caught up in our busy lives to forget about the medical conditions? Is a sense of invincibility clouding our clear view on the choices we make? Either way, the times are a-changing again. So what’s your decision?

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