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May 2011

From the desk of John Dicey, Worldwide Director, Allen Carr’s Easyway

We had our Annual International conference in sunny Surrey, England last week. It was so lovely to be joined by dedicated, loyal, hard working Allen Carr’s Easyway To Quit Smoking people from every corner of the globe. They came from France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Cyprus, South Africa, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Mexico and even from Tahiti. More than 30 countries were represented. It was so energising to spend time with such enthusiastic and capable people bound together, striving for a common objective – to cure the world of smoking.

We cannot allow bad news to break our stride but we are certainly challenged by people who appear to have a vested interest in creating more smokers as quickly as we cure them.

An excellent feature in last weekends Telegraph newspaper which looked back on the impact on motor sport of the incredible racing driver, the late Ayrton Senna, was ruined for me by the images that accompanied the feature.

A new cinema release is scheduled for June simply titled “Senna”. There is no doubt that such a sporting icon is worthy of such posthumous attention but the brilliantly written piece in The Telegraph was blighted by several huge color photos of Senna and his F1 car clearly bearing the legend “Marlboro”. The men at Marlboro marketing must be beside themselves with joy. The newspaper coverage is priceless to them and no doubt the feature film will be another “Marlboro marathon”. I am sure that the pun in the title of the newspaper article was unintentional “Senna – the driver who lit up Formula One” although one does wonder! I become less and less convinced that picture editors at some national newspapers don’t have some kind of weird pro-smoking agenda however.

See the feature and a clip of the feature film “Senna”. Can anyone count the number of appearances made by the Marlboro logo in the clip?

My Saturday and Sunday newspapers seem to be frequently littered with photos of iconic figures brandishing cigarettes. Seldom does it seem to me necessary (or remotely relevant) to include a photo with a cigarette – yet they regularly feature.

How about this for a front cover of The Times “Times 2” supplement this week

In case you missed the gratuitous smoking on the front page – you get another opportunity with the center spread

To be honest with you – my view of Bob Dylan is that he was massively over rated – but I wouldn’t argue with his iconic status. I just don’t remember smoking being part of it! A quick check with Google presented hundreds of pictures of Bob – only a handful of them showing him smoking. Take a look for yourself:

It does make one wonder what the picture editors are thinking? It would surely be paranoid to consider that anything sinister is going on.

This kind of propaganda for the tobacco industry is priceless to them – the engagement with fashion houseYSL
to sell YSL branded cigarettes in Russia and Asia is unbelievable. Picked up by Marie Claire (Australia) they report it as follows:

“French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent has sparked controversy by marketing its line of cigarettes as “fashionable”.

Available exclusively in Russia and Asia, YSL reportedly claims its cigarettes “appeal to female vanity and thereby make the woman who chooses to smoke Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes more attractive than one who smokes another brand, or more attractive than a woman who does not smoke at all.”

The advertisement for the line features a model that closely resembles Kate Moss, who sparked debate in February when she appeared on the Louis Vuitton catwalk smoking a cigarette.”

What kind of greed motivates a brand like YSL to expand into this area of business? It’s sad to think that perhaps western society has become so apathetic that YSL will suffer no backlash from outraged loyal consumers of their products but I for one have poured my bottle of YSL L’Homme aftershave away and will now seek out a new scent that stinks a little less.

Smoking Sucks and we want to prevent a generation of kids from starting smoking.