Saturday, July 21, 2007

Smoking warnings

A new study has revealed that anti-smoking adverts often fail:

The researchers surveyed students in four middle schools about their exposure to anti-smoking ads and their intentions to smoke. They found that, overall, the more the students were exposed to anti-smoking messages, the more inclined they were to smoke.
John Mortimer explained this phenomenon last year:
The best part of it is that governmental disapproval now adds considerably to the pleasures. The words "smoking kills" add, to many people, a welcome feeling of danger to the lighting of a cigarette
When I was in prison in France for cannabis smuggling, I wrote to Sir John. I'd read his autobiography and Paradise Postponed, and fancied I had a mildly witty remark to make. I didn't know his address, but I sort of described where he lived on the envelope - and thanks to the Post Office it arrived.

I know this, because he replied - a very kind and amusing hand written letter. I suspect he did know how much that would have meant to someone starved of diversions.

I know I'm an atheist, but God bless you, Sir John.

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