Smoking is Gay. For Real.

It looks like the Onion has more influence on the real world than they might prefer to think. Their satire video about a teen health campaign that compares smoking to being gay triggered a discussion about what comedy is allowed to say when it comes to minorities. The French, who aren’t exactly squeamish when it comes to sex or racy content in advertising, are already a step ahead. A controversy has erupted over an ad that some feel has gone a step too far: it doesn’t just evoke oral sex, but actually simulates it. And these salacious images are targeting young people in what is actually a laudable campaign — trying to stop them from smoking.

The ads are meant to link smoking to submission and have a caption that reads: “Smoking means being a slave to tobacco”

The campaign of the Droits des Non-Fumeurs (Non-Smokers’ Rights) association features male and female adolescents kneeling at the waist of a businessman with a cigarette in their mouth.. Queer activists are concerned the ads could rehash prejudices and clichés against gays; an organisation for rape victims says “the campaign trivialises sexual abuse – worse, it implies guilt on the part of the abused”. France’s conservative minister for families, Nadine Morano, said she would take measures to get the advert banned on grounds of “public offense to decency”.

Tobacco is the number one cause of avoidable deaths as well as of cancer in France, according to the health ministry. Half of French students over 14 have tried smoking at some point. While Droits des Non-Fumeurs argues that young smokers tend to ignore adverts focusing on health, other activists were doubtful about the effectiveness of the provocative posters.

What do you think, are these ads too much or just enough?


36 thoughts on “Smoking is Gay. For Real.”

  1. Do you have any bigger-sized versions of the other two ads? (if not, where did you found this one?) I’ve sent off a mail to DNF with that question 2 days ago, but they haven’t responded (yet).

    The campaign itself then. It obviously implies that being a slave to cigarettes is as bad as being an ‘oral sex whore’ to an older man. It doesn’t mention consent, but again implies that the sex is forced: rape.

    I can’t figure out for myself if this is ‘going too far’. If it weren’t connected to this anti-smoking campaign, I would’ve loved it for its ability to provoke and make you think — about sexuality. I don’t like the ‘sex is bad’ message it seems attempting to communicate, but then again no sane teen would like oral sex with an adult man, right ;)

    * whistles innocently *

      1. i just looked @these. in the one with the girl the man is shown to have a potbelly. in the ones with the boys he’s less unattractive looking. this is odd.

        1. Because gay sex is always degrading, whereas straight sex is only degrading if you’re partner is ugly, obviously…

    1. IceCold, “no sane teen would like oral sex with an adult man” how you come up with this assumption?
      F Y I, SANITY doesn’t have ANYTHING with who you desire or who you love.

    2. IceCold I think you are wrong I know teenagers who are both sane and like it with adults, male and female.

      1. Note the “;)” and the “* whistles innocently *” part; it was sarcasm. I was/am such a ‘sane’ teenager..

  2. Why don’t they outlaw tobacco? And don’t use the tax revenue argument because they put loads of funds into stop smoking campaigns. Just announce a date when it will stop being sold and then people will have to quit by then or go cold turkey when the time comes.

    1. Also, I’m sure the poster campaign wasn’t designed to be homophobic. If they put the male and female version of the poster together wherever they are placed then it should prevent it turning into a gay joke for teens.

    2. Outlawing tobacco would mean saying hello to massive illegal trade in cigarettes and tobacco and thus a huge up-rise in criminality.
      Don’t think that’s a good idea either.

    3. you should have the right to kill yourself and waste your money if you want. Its only when you affect others that it becomes something that should be regulated.

    4. Sadly as a smoker myself I hate them, but prohibition doesn’t work with alcahol, drugs, or sex the 1920 USA proved that, Likewise heroine, extacy, gunja become more easily obtained when prohibitd just more costly. Hence the tax arguement stands as one disincentive that’s all.

  3. Note that there are two guys and one girl, as if the girl was added for a good measure.
    These ads confuse submission with addiction. These are two different things. Or maybe they mean that the kids can be as addicted to oral sex as to smoking… Or that the kid can’t give a blow job because of the cigarette in his mouth.

    1. they just don’t know what they mean, artists!! think in circles few can understand. I certainly wouldn’t let someone smoke so close to my groin. Anyhow are they suggesting you smoke a smoke instead of the other in sight, or vice versa and would they ban or promote which as best. Would ban people who kneel at a Cardinals feet foe a head blessing like that, or ban leaders who wash their servants feet at a passover feast?

  4. Cute boy but … I find a cigarette in the mouth a complete turn off. I don’t mind smokers any more. It is not appealing.

    I think this campaign is a bit muddy. But too far?
    No. Not when you consider that cigarettes as produced are loaded with toxic chemicals, and that nicotine is in itself a poison.
    Given that, it is more dangerous than Cannabis.
    Alcohol is just as bad. It is considered a neural suppressant, a drug.
    But then so is salt a poison, and sugar can kill. Where does it end? When do We expect people to police themselves and be responsible for their actions rather than having every ‘dangerous’ thing or behaviour outlawed?

    Meh. >_> I feel like ranting only makes one look foolish. I apologise for it.

  5. I hate restrictions on freedom to say whatever you want, especially with media. (People are way too dependent on the media.)

    But as the ad goes, i think its a great idea. A much stronger message than traditional ads. I don’t see it as offensive to gays or putting blame on rape victims either, its just about how they are being easily manipulated.

    1. 17o0o, F Y I , the ad IS OFFENSIVE to the gay people because enforce the false image of the gay people as rapiest of kids.

    2. Sure its a good promotion, I got that message easily, don’t smoke when you want to give a head? It is dangerous to the receiving body, likewise don’t kiss with a hot tip smoke in your mouth that burns the lips of the receiver silly enough to tollerate it.

  6. Smoking is disgusting I would never date a smoker no matter how hot he was! Also the boy in the pic is super cute would love to see more photos of him if there are any!? :)

    As for the ad campaign it does worry me a bit that it may open up a can of worms with some possible gay bashing at least on school grounds.

  7. really don’t think the ad implies the blowjob is forced/’rape’. smoking is a choice, the ad is nonsensical if meant to depict rape. the image is interesting, but as an anti-smoking ad, confusing. there’s not enough about the guy in the suit to make me dislike him. he’s in a suit, has a nice watch, and has hair on the back of his hand, whatever. the kid looks like he likes what he’s seeing which just makes it more confusing. i would never have thought this was an antismoking ad, it looks like art. those French are deceptive.

  8. any one of those 3 teens can blow me anytime they want. hell, i’ll even spring for lunch.

    if tobacco is as addictive as the alarmists claim, then smoking does make you a slave. that’s the nature of addiction.

    BTW, some years ago it was theorized that homosexuality is also an addiction, or an obsessive-compulsive disorder. gay people thinks it’s their nature, unaware that they are psychologically enslaved by the notion.

    So, is this ad an inadvertant freudian slip? i dont think so; just all very coincidental.

  9. Well if the kid is supposed to be gay he should be smoking a white tipped Menthol I whould have thought. Perhaps they employed one of the few non-gay film crews to make it?

  10. He is darn cute …

    But such adds or verbal taunting only cause the need to rebel against them by continuing ones

    The info should be more on the scale of:
    did you know this about smoking …..
    informative , not attacking

    Just being around chainsmoking people is uncomfortable – much less kiss one.

    But though i don’t smoke as a habit – i do have
    0 to 1 cigar a year.
    Maybe share a cigaret with a cute guy.
    But that’s it.

  11. I assumed it was a priest and a laying on of hands-type blessing. They do that type of thing, y’know.

  12. If it’s supposed to say that smoking is bad, and it’s saying smoking is like sucking cock, therefore sucking cock is bad. That definitely sends the wrong message. We all know sucking cock is good. :)

  13. Yes more power to head, the World is akready overpopulated, China one child policy makes head quite acceptable blow. To answer the non smokers on addiction of nicotine habit, it has taken me 20 years to go down from 60/day to 10/day and even with a stenosis Aorta valve ending my ife too early, i cant get down to 5 as I meant to do before TET. Oh! well this week will get down to 8 God willing? So I say to the youths take the advert’s advice smoke cock not fags. Ciao all.

  14. it basically connects something bad & and extremely useless (smoking) with sex (in this case a blow job) and they try to make it look worse in the eyes of the viewer by having an older guy instead of a someone, who could be about as young as this teenager. So under the surface there’s actually some neo-puritanism, maybe a result of the omnipresent cultural influence of modern America (including the logic: older guy = bad guy).

  15. I feel offended now that I realize I never got offered a cig that way before? (feeling left out)

  16. The people here are reading too much into this ad. Its easy to be offended if you want to or are looking to be. Having said that I’m not comfortable with the ad myself. I don’t think it was intended that people would associate smoking with being gay but with submission. The problem is that any add featuring submission is likely to offend someone. If you compare it to historical slavery you upset Black voters. use woman in such an ad and you know what will happen. I think the ad to the extent that it is effective at all would probably work on straights. The fact is that addiction is slavery and its slavery for profit. The boy in the ad is pretty. The ad is not but, then again its not supposed to be. Still Its not the ad I would have run.

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