Anti-smoking ads traumatized me for life

Ad writers at the time understood that their audience was just getting rebellious enough to ignore teachers’ or parents’ warnings, so instead of a message of “smoking is bad,” they experimented with other ways of influencing youth. The worst examples of this were ads trying to impress upon teens that smoking isn’t cool; usually these just ended up being funny.

The best, or at least most memorable, PSAs resorted to gross and nightmarish images. It isn’t even clear, exactly, what smoking does to you from these ads or why it’s bad. Instead, the videos abandon all intention of getting across some sort of “message” and rely entirely on distorted sound and lighting to replicate the atmosphere of a horror film (the creepy dolls also help):

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