Truth, the teen-focused anti-tobacco organization, took advantage of the large viewership of Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards by airing a commercial that slams celebrity puffers. The 30-second ad calls out the stars—several of whom, like Rihanna, Lana Del Rey, and Chris Brown, were nominated that night—by displaying a montage of paparazzi photos of them lighting up and slapping them with the label “Unpaid Tobacco Spokesperson.”
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The refreshing PSA reminds us—and them—that every time these images are posted, tobacco companies get free marketing. And the commercial isn’t only aimed at pop stars and rappers: Other offenders include Orlando Bloom, Kate Moss, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kirsten Dunst, and Kiefer Sutherland.
The soon-to-be-national campaign urges celebrities to quit instead of reinforcing the passé idea that cigarettes are “cool.” It’s part of the organization’s #FinishIt campaign, which aims to end tobacco use among young people. Just 9% of teenagers smoke but with celebrity support, Truth thinks the number can get down to 0.
Guilting celebs into quitting a harmful habit? Now this is the kind of shaming we can get behind.
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