Your ideas to get teens to stop/never smoke

It’s been all over the news of “support your local merchant that checks id’s for people buying tobacco.” Obviously, this ploy isn’t working because these kids are getting their cigerettes from merchants who don’t care that they are selling to someone underage or cigerette machines ( if they still make them) or older people who don’t care if the kids smoke.

So, I thought of a way (albeit flawed) to help stop the teens and the merchants from selling tobacco. Inventory Control bar codes. For example, Marlboro puts a specific bar code on all their packs and the deliverly guy scans them when Joe Mercant receives them. When a kid is busted by either a parent/teacher/cop, they confiscate the smokes and run the bar code through all master scanner that tells them where they purchased the smokes. Cops go to the merchant and BAM, he gets a big fine. (I know, it’s severely flawed.)

Or, why not barcode our basic information
( Birthdate, name, blood type) onto our driver’s liscenses and have some kind of UPC like master computer that would work in conjuction with the police. That way our liscenses our scanned with our pictures on it and if there is a problem, like underage drinking or call the cops he’s got three warrants out on him, it would be a red flag for the merchant.

This is my rose colored glasses perfect world crime solving minute.

In a more reality based program, I think it should be mandatory to take kids, 10 years old or so, through the cancer wards and have discussions with life long smokers who’ve have their voice boxes removed.Ever talk to someone who has to use what looks like an electric razor pressed to his throat to speak. It will weird you out. Maybe see first hand what a diseased lung looks like. Shock treatment.

Then when they recover from that, we move them onto Shirley’s Sex Education Treatment: See what an infected penis and vagine look like from unprotected sex, watch a non-medicated birth to a teenager of the touring teen groups race and color. You know, fun stuff. (This would probably have severe backlash and make a generation of Jerry Falwellish kids, which would be really bad too.)

Anyone else mulling over their own solutions?

Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day.
Give a man a remote and he’ll never speak again.

Simple - Don’t make a huge taboo about it. Don’t encourage your teen to smoke, but by making a HUGE DEAL over it, kids, who naturally want to rebel, will have something ELSE to try…

I don’t think it’s a big surprise that teen smoking went UP after the issue becamse such a major thing for politicians to hype.

Yer pal,

At many of the places where I purchase my nicotine fix, they have little yellow scanners that they run your license through.
Tobacco is getting more and more restricted,
and eventually (at least from what one DEA agent I saw on TV said) will be illegal.

If they REALLY wanted to get rid of tobacco, what they could do is just raise the legal age every year and phase it out, simple as that. For the first few years, new smokers would get their older friends to buy smokes for them, but as the legal age rose and rose, the average smoker would be an old man … and grandpa ain’t gonna hook you up.

Surely a black market would surface, but due to cigarettes’ non-psychoactivity and known health risks, the market would dry up in time.

Not to carp here Shirley, but your “rose colored glasses perfect world” bit sounds like a horrible invasion of privacy, ala 1984. Do you really want to hire the additional number of cops it would take to enforce something as pervasive as teen smoking. I know I don’t.

“The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.” - Humphrey Bogart

Besides, everyone knows that kids just give their older friends or random adults $5 to go buy them a pack of smokes anyway…


Your idea of gradually increasing the legal age for smokers is an interesting one, and deserves some thought. One statement of yours may need some revision: Your referred to

“cigarettes’ non-psychoactivity . . .”

Actually, nicotine is a psychoactive drug and the chief pharmacologically active constituent of cigarette smoke. Cigarettes definitely produce psychoactive effects in smokers (especially if they have abstained for awhile). These effects are similar to those that smokers report when they receive i.v. nicotine.

I don’t mean to carp, I just like to see that the facts on cigarettes and nicotine are told.

As for ways to make teenagers not start smoking, I am convinced that concentrated appeals to vanity would do the trick. We Americans are obsessed with the way we look and smell. If you don’t yet agree with this characterization, a quick check of the ads in any magazine, especially a teen-oriented magazine, should convince you of the fact. Face cleaners and deodorants. Perfumed soaps and cologne. Toothpaste and breath mints/gum.

Smoking effects the way smokers look and smell in a manner that is generally perceived as negative (at least by non-smokers, 70% of the US population). If teens were bombarded constantly with the message that smoking makes you stink, yellows your teeth, etc. etc., my guess is that teen smoking would gradually decline. Arizona has tried this approach, with some positive effect. Some nationwide ad campaigns have tried this approach also, though these campaigns were brief. A prolonged effort is required to counteract the “smoking is cool” mentality.

Just my 2 cents,


Make cigarettes penis-shaped. What teen would want to walk around with a little dick sticking out of his mouth? :slight_smile:

Shirley, your plan sounds great, except the religious nuts would start screaming, “Anti-Christ! The sign of the devil!” Not that they’re not screaming that now.

Satan, I agree–the more grown-ups yell about how bad it is to smoke, the more “don’t smoke!” campaigns that are funded, the more kids will want to smoke. The same way a lot of tea-totalers took up drinking when Prohibition came in, just for spite.

I think one of the best ways to stop kids from smoking–and this won’t be popular!–is to raise prices. I know a lot of grown-ups who say they’d quit, too, if prices went up.

Also have ad campaigns emphasizing:

  1. Your money goes into the pockets of evil businessmen. Kids hate that.

  2. Smoking is increasingly becoming a habit of the lower classes. On that TLC special last week, a tobacco co. exec actually said, “our customers are the poor, the black, the young and the ignorant.” Put THAT on a billboard!

I would think psychology would work. Make smoking not cool. Also,tell them they can smoke all they want. It won’t be so cool anymore. I was allowed to smoke and drink,but I never wanted to.

Nothing personal Shirley, but I don’t think I’d want to live in your “perfect world”. Why not just set up surveillance cameras everywhere? Or require a 5 day waiting period for smokes?

The cancer ward idea is much better- I know after I visited my dad’s friend (a lifetime smoker) and saw him wheezing, coughing & hacking, and STILL asking for a cigarette I couldn’t even be near someone who was smoking.

Personally, I’d make cigs hot pink with floral patterns. Not as offensive as AWB’s “penis” idea but in the same vein.

Florida did some really excellent teen-written anti-smoking ads that were so good, I believe the state was sued for libel. (sigh)

The one I liked best was an awards ceremony given in hell where a ghoul representing cancer deaths won the award over suicide, illicit drug use, drunk driving, etcetera. The ghoul’s teary-eyed acceptance speech thanked the cigarette manufacturers for making it possible.

But how do we stop teens from smoking? Well, we can’t entirely. Everybody does stupid things, and some teens are going to pick up smoking no matter what we do.

How about this: along with education and raising of prices, we fine cigarette manufacturers an exhorbitant amount of money for each pack confiscated from a minor - something along the lines of oh, $10,000 a pack. That would challenge and maybe even remove their incentive for addicting younger people, and make them much more hesitant to advertise at them.

I also think we should remove all tobacco subsidies and encourage tobacco farmers to switch over to another crop - like industrial hemp. :smiley:

“Damn, it’d be like two days at Disneyland without the kids!” - Comment by a male friend the first time he saw a picture of me and my breasts.

My 10th-grade Health teacher had a smoker’s lung on her shelf, in a jar full of formaldehyde. One day while we were talking about the health effects of smoking, she passed it around the room, so we could all see exactly how nasty the thing looked. If I’d been inclined to smoke, I think that thing would have discouraged me.

(Sidenote: On this particular day, the desk behind me was vacant, and somehow the jar ended up there. Within thirty seconds, I’d managed to knock it over.
The fumes were unpleasant enough that one wing of the school was unusable for the rest of the day, and some of my other classes were cancelled.
But on the downside, I was nicknamed “lung-boy” for the next two weeks.)

Would ANY lung in formaldahyde look ATTRACTIVE?!?

Oh, Satie, I’m sure YOURS would!

This, from a British study released today on women UNDER 45–

The more cigarettes smoked on a daily basis, the greater the risk of a heart attack.

Even in light smokers, who had up to five cigarettes a day, the risk was doubled.

Smokers of one pack of 20 or more a day were at 25 more risk than non-smokers.

For smokers of two packs or more a day, the risk increased by a factor of almost 75.

–Not that any of this would help, as “45” is elderly to teenagers.

How about once a kid expresses interest in smoking (I assume it would be around 8 at the youngest to 16 or thereabouts) get them a whole pack of Camel shorts (the unfiltered ciggarettes that my father used to smoke) and make him/her smoke at least half the pack in one sitting. Thereafter, everytime they get caught smoking, they will have to smoke the whole pack. I assume that some people may say this is extreme, but I doubt that a few packs of ciggarettes will have any type of lasting effect in the lifespan of a person. In addition to that, this type of aversion (you will get sick) will most likely keep the child from ever wanting to experience it again.


Move over Satan. :wink: Now there’s something meatier.

One thing that really got ME in the gut was finding out how much money tobacco companies spend on advertising. * Billions of Dollars per year, just to get me to buy their product.

The sad fact is that I learned this after already being addicted for many years, so my decision-making facilities were already a little skewed.

One thing I’d like to point out: Regardless of the good will in which it’s suggested, fining tobacco companies does NOTHING to curb smoking. All they do is pass those fines on to their enslaved consumers, as any North American smoker is well aware. (Incoming anecdotal evidence): Just about every smoker I know made motions about “cutting down” or “quitting” after cigarettes went up 1.00 per pack earlier this year. None of them actually has, though. They’ve only managed to eek out that extra 10 dollars a week or what have you from cutting back on other things.

Everybody is right in stating that 45 seems ancient to most teens. Hell, it seems ancient to me. Maybe it would helpful to share/ dramatize the health effects that smoking has in the shorter term.

I, for one, very nearly died of pneumonia complicated by general debauchery and, obviously, smoking, at the AGE OF SEVENTEEN! Suffered from very serious, but chronic bronchitis for 3 years solid following that. Developing asthma in the late teens is a precursur to emphysema. “Oh,” I would think went I went in to see the doctors, “You meant, like die, die.”

I’m still a smoker. Because a huge, powerful international racket has managed to control my thoughts and actions by means of an insidious and disgusting drug.

Doesn’t really sound like anything I would want to be part of. But I’m still a smoker.

To stop kids from smoking, you have to stop them from ever starting. Kids start smoking because they thinks it looks cool. Tobacco companies spend their money creating a positive image of smoking. Adults telling kids not to smoke makes it all the more attractive.

To stop kids from smoking, make it socially unattractive to smoke. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how to do this. Maybe stick a cigarette in the mouth of every dweeby character on TV, and have the popular ones make fun of them? I don’t know.

It is too clear, and so it is hard to see.

Beeruser, every one of us in our own mind has what we perceive at the perfect world. Sure, mine is a little cockeyed and definately Orwellian. Everyone has a bug up their ass that cannot be extracted and my beef with smokers is one of them. ( I don’t them all across the board,like all Germans aren’t bad…etc) I am very liberal with a pragmatic bent in many areas but there is something I cannot begin to comprehend is why the hell anyone would smoke. It just tastes bad and is a waste of money. Blech. I guess it also helps to have a dad that died of cancer on Xmas day when I was nine to take any romance out of that Winston. I am not an addictive personality and I just don’t get it and I probably never will. But, I digress.

The ads that are on the radio now of
" Support your local merchant that checks id’s for tobacco and alcohol" just rub me the wrong way. The merchants should have been doing their job years ago. Hell, they ( ATF, I think, just broke up a contraband cigerette ring in the Metro Detroit area last year and you just know that those party store owners were ID’ing people. They were selling single cigerettes which is a no-no.) Just like the Phillip-Morris ads of how many kids ARE NOT smoking because they are too smart to start.

Someone above said something about vanity is the number one reason to help keep these kids from ever smoking.I agree completely. I say the groups against the cigerette industry should do a scratch and sniff campaign and say, " This is the smell of your index finger." Heh, that would be a 100 on the hurl-0-meter.

I don’t think we will ever see tobacco ever being illegal and I know it is actually one of the more harmless addictions. No one has ever had a driving and smoking accident, unless they dropped, pardon the vernacular,a lit fag on their lap, but you get my drift. Sure, there are smoking while sleeping in bed fires, but those are not as common as DWI’s. You can’t OD on tobacco like heroin or crack, so in that spectrum, it does help calm some people down and get them to relax. Of all the addictions, I do conceed it is the least harmful society wise. It’s only when the smoker is 50-80 and on oxygen or having a lung biopsied that they really feel the effects of " Was it really necessary? I’m not ready to die."

It also burns me that (Pardon me while I rant) that the cigerette companies have to kick back money into some kind of health care slush fund to cover smoking related disease treatment for people who willfully and knowing the hazards continued to smoke even after the Surgeon General declared it really really bad to do so. You don’t see this with the booze companies and helping alcohol related deaths/diseases do you? Argh. It doesn’t make any sense. When are people accountable for their own actions. (end rant.)

I know in one circumstances that I wish my Mother in Law would go back to smoking. She smoked from 15-48 and stopped only because she was in the hospital for an accident and went through with withdrawl while on morphine. She is now a compulsive eater.It is one of the only pleasures she has in life and it (eating) makes her feel so guilty. If she was not so busy and so active, she would be about 300+ pounds. She’s about 215 now and carried is surprisingly well and has the upper body width and strength to be a linemen for the Lions, but she is depressed and doesn’t understand that eating like she does (heavy german foods)and lack of a real fitness routine, are going to only make her fatter in the end as her energy slows down. If she smoked, she wouldn’t eat as much ergo, she’d be happier.

Squirrel had a really good idea of making the kid smoke an entire pack when caught with a cigerette.They’d hate you after they finished puking up a lung, but twenty years down the road, they would be very grateful for the intervention.

There are no easy solutions, unfortunately.

There was an article on a related topic in a recent issue of Forbes:

It’s a long way to heaven, but only three short steps to hell.