Tag Archives: smoking

Smoke-free TV people still love us

Hey, remember last year when there were ads on TV with TV personalities talking to you with tears in their eyes about how they quit smoking?

Well, they’re back. Jean-François Baril, Dave Morissette, Stéphan Bureau and others, sitting in a room made up of post-it notes, recounting to a loved one either a thank you or a heart-felt plea to stop smoking.

The token anglo this time is CFCF’s André Corbeil.

Last year I called the videos creepy. Unfortunately, they’ve since disappeared from the website (to be replaced by this year’s batch) so I can’t re-evaluate that analysis very well (why not keep last year’s videos up?). This year’s batch seems less creepy for some reason I can’t identify. But it’s still weird, uncomfortable.

Of course, that’s the point. To take the comfort out of smoking, and to catch the attention of the inattentive television viewer.

Now, whether any of this causes anyone to stop smoking, that’s another matter.

Quebec Tobacco-Free Week runs from Jan. 17 to 23.

I love you too, smoke-free TV people

CFCF's Rob Lurie, at his most smokalicious

CFCF's Rob Lurie, at his most smokalicious

A smorgasbord of government organizations and nonprofits is sponsoring Quebec’s anti-smoking week next week, and part of the campaign features videos with TV personalities giving heart-felt thank-yous to loved ones who helped them quit smoking, while sitting on the floor of the same living room. Each video ends with “je t’aime” (or “I love you”) in a serious, look-you-in-the-eyes way that seems to walk the line between tear-inducing and creepy (though maybe I’m overly sensitive in this regard).

Included in that list is token anglo CFCF’s Rob Lurie (above), TVA’s Dominic Arpin (who writes a blog post about the experience shooting this piece), RDS’s Pierre Houde and Jacques Demers, and a bunch of other people equally split between the media partners (they even got the two guys left at TQS).

Kidding aside, they’re pretty gut-wrenching videos, designed to make people uncomfortable and get them to talk to their parents, kids, siblings, spouses and other loved ones about quitting smoking.

Smoke for Hour

I find it a bit funny that Hour, the alternative weekly newspaper that decided a while back that it needed better standards and imposed strict rules for its back-of-the-paper sex classifieds (which is why there’s a stark contrast between it and the Mirror when it comes to those starry-eyed escort service ads) celebrated Quebec’s new anti-smoking law with four full-page, full-colour ads promoting cigarettes (offset by a single full-page ad from the government about the new law).

Which is more immoral? Selling women’s bodies in the newspaper or promoting smoking to the 16-29 demographic?

Business isn’t smoking

On Friday night, part of Quebec’s anti-smoking law came into effect, which among other things completely bans smoking in workplaces, outlawing designated smoking rooms.

To which most people responded: “They allowed smoking rooms at work until now?”

Yep. And on Friday night at midnight, those rooms were closed for good, including one at The Gazette, which had its ashtrays removed and “no smoking” signs taped to the tables. It will be converted into a lunchroom.

Now, when copy editors take page proofs to read while having a smoke, they’ll be doing it outside. Which will be fine while the weather is good, but it’ll be torture when winter comes.

Another provision of the law, which will have more of an impact on the rest of the world, requires retailers to hide their cigarettes in a closed cabinet or otherwise out of the view of customers. This is to prevent young’uns from being exposed to them or something, I guess.

That provision reeks of wishy-washy nanny-stateism (either make it legal or don’t), but I don’t smoke so I really don’t care.

As the law came into effect, Couche Tard took the opportunity to remind customers that they still sell cigarettes and to “just ask” for them. (This law is going to cause a lot of uncomfortable and/or confusing conversations, I think). Right next to that ad was another from VizuelMedia, which is using this new law to its advantage and has created a business model that involves creating new cigarette “power walls” and selling ads on them.

And the Mohawks, well they’re just ignoring the law entirely.

Not a victory for smokers’ rights

Sandra-Ann Fowler, the tenant who took her landlord to the Régie du logement over her right to smoke in her apartment (and therefore subject her landlord’s family to traces of second-hand smoke) has won her case.

CTV’s Brian Britt calls it a “victory for smokers’ rights advocates”, and a spokesperson for a smokers’ rights group seems to back him up.

Unfortunately, this simply isn’t true. The ruling stated that because a ban on smoking was not in the lease, Fowler has the right to smoke, even though the application form said smokers were not allowed.

In fact, the ruling apparently suggested that bans on smoking are in fact legal if they are in the lease.

I’d hardly call that a victory. She got off on a technicality, that’s all.

Hot chicks sucking fags

There are a lot of interesting pornographic websites out there (don’t ask me how I know this): porn involving pregnant women, porn involving books, glasses and all sorts of other inanimate objects you wouldn’t consider sexual.

Now a Quebec entrepreneur is filling the gap of smoking porn. It’s not actually porn, since the girls aren’t naked or anything. They’re just smoking suggestively. And you have to pay to see it.

Dominic Arpin asks the obvious question: What are they smoking? And how smoke-deprived do you have to be to pay to watch other people smoke?