08 February 2006


I’ve seen several variants of the advert to the left recently. They are for Nicotinell, who manufacture nicotine gum, patches and various other nicotine replacement products. They all involve the nicotine represented as a the devil who is taunted and/or poked with pitch-forks by several gleeful women.

To represent the devil, a short chubby man has deliberately been chosen, looking as pathetic as possibly in his skin-tight red outfit, cringing and looking all whiney.

In contrast, the women are all young and attractive, looking stridently confident as they sneer and mock the feeble male representing their former nicotine addiction.

It’s curious why Nicotinell should have chosen such an image, even bearing in mind the obvious fashion of man-bashing in advertising. After all, 28% of men smoke compared to 24% of women (although women have rapidly caught up, proportionally speaking; source.) A third of all smokers want to quit, meaning, numerically, there are more male smokers looking to kick the habit than females.

Yet surely this advert will hardly appeal to any men. Whilst a women will probably see this adverts and feel a sense of man-bashing empowerment at the prospect of using such a product and kicking her smoking habit, surely a man will just think “Oh, more men being mocked and abused in adverts. Ho-hum. Time for a cig.”

Furthermore, Nicotinell doesn’t work according to this, as well as my own experience. I had a friend who bought a month’s supply of Nicotinell patches and managed to stay off of cigarettes…for a month. A colleague of mine has tried to quit with patches four times in as many months and is still smoking away. On the other hand I quit ages ago without any patches or such shit, just going cold turkey, and I’m fine. Not one single lapse.

Not that I’m a militant anti-smoker though. There are few things more annoying (feminists being one of them of course) than an ex-smoker who foams at the mouth with fury if someone should light up within a hundred-metres of them. Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em.

But still, if any readers should like to quit smoking, then please allow me to provide you with some free aversion therapy.

Simply light up a cig, sit back and click here. Don’t look away from the screen or hit that back button until you’ve finished your smoke.

After doing that a few times you will associate smoking with those vomit-inducing hags to such an extent that you would sooner try and sell Danish bacon door-to-door in Tehran than spark up again.

Unless you do actually find any of those feminists attractive, in which case you are obviously smoking something far more brain-warping than just nicotine.

posted by Duncan Idaho @ 7:41 PM

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