Morpheus on… Pictures On Cigarette Packs

Recently, American tobacco companies managed to delay the process whereby US citizens will join others in having graphic pictures plastered over their cigarette packs. A victory for freedom (and corporate greed).

But ironically, America’s anti-smoking paranoia has already resulted in such images appearing on packs in several other countries – amongst them, the land of this writer’s domicilium, Thailand…

Thai fag-pack pix

The top seven pictures are predictable – images of rotting bits of person and such-like, all caused (allegedly) by them having smoked cigarettes.

But the bottom three are bizarre. I have smoked for forty years – and if I smoked for another forty, I doubt I would ever have teeth like that.

Then there is the picture with the bowl – I think it relates to a Thai funeral ritual.

But the last one is the best – the lout blowing smoke over the baby. My first reaction (after I had stopped laughing) was that the reason it was obviously fake was to stop complaints being directed at the campaign’s organisers.

Although later, it occurred that I might simply have over-estimated the organisers’ intelligence – maybe it was just the best their FX department could manage.

Oh, and the 1600 is the number to ring if you want to listen to a message helping you to quit. Perhaps it is a Thai lady shouting abuse at you (although some people would pay good money for that).

Anyhoo, it got me thinking – why stop with cigarettes? Why not put pictures of morbidly obese children on fast-food containers? Or how about images of mangled pedestrians nailed to all new cars’ dashboards? The possibilities are endless.

But of one thing you can be sure; America will never put pictures of shattered corpses on gun and bullet boxes – that would be tasteless.

As my alter-ego has noted, we live in a World where the absurd is now commonplace.


2 responses to this post.

  1. I quit two years after I began. It was about 1966. I only began because my lady friend smoked.

    I wrote to MPs and journalists in about 1971 suggesting PLAIN fag packets (like the ones I saw members of the armed forces using in the pub when I was pulling the pints) and suggesting plain booze bottles with plain labels.

    I also put forth that idea of a North East West and South weather cock’s letters swirling around to spell NEWS at the start of the bulletin. Rhodesia took it up. Now Euronews uses it.

  2. Posted by Vincent on August 18, 2013 at 8:34 am

    The plain packaging idea is unnecessary here – a few years ago, it became illegal to display ciggy packs AT ALL. Thus today, when you walk into a shop that sells them, you are met with a plain sign with the legend – “CIGARETTES ARE SOLD HERE” – and the stock is hidden behind a shutter or doors (a bit reminiscent of hardcore porn, in the Sixties).

    This SORT OF makes sense, I suppose. But a total silly is the treatment of ciggies on TV – the Thai-run TV channels pixelise (pixilate means to make DRUNK) cigarettes every time they make CONTACT (only) with mouths – thus EMPHASISING them! While the international channels that use Thai TV as a platform do no such thing.

    Then again, they bowdlerise STRONG LANGUAGE, while the Thai channels do NOT.

    Typical Thailand – total inconsistency, while just trying to be SEEN to be doing something!

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