Model on anti-smoking bus shelter ad coughs when smokers walk by

Originally published at:

that is one attractive fellow, alright, makes me want to take up smoking and stand there all day.


I don’t smoke, but if I did, this would certainly not be a catalyst to quitting. Vandalism, maybe, but not quitting smoking.


I love it! I usually do the coughing thing whenever a smoker gets too near or upwind of me. Just a hint, possibly even subliminal (what do they care about people around them after all), or maybe just expressing my passive-aggressive tendencies.


Some of us cough because cigarette smoke makes us cough. Any smoker near me isn’t going to mistake me hacking my lungs out as a coy suggestion.


I already try to stay downwind, and I follow the rules about staying away from doors and entryways. People still like to get into histrionics with their fake coughing as they walk by (oh, you only started coughing once you were a meter away, and stopped once you got a meter past me?). I can only really interpret it as passive aggressiveness.


On BoingBoing and other liberal websites, there is a pretty consistent line on addiction: it should be treated as a disease rather than a crime or a social dysfunction, and shaming addicts is both pragmatically counterproductive from a treatment perspective and just morally wrong.

Except when it comes to nicotine addicts. Fuck those people, amirite? I mean, it’s not like they’re disproportionately poor or struggling with mental illness or anything like that.


I don’t think shaming can ever be an effective deterrent for any behavior, smoking included.


I’m not sure I agree generally, but in the case of nicotine addiction I do agree. I wanted to quit almost the whole time I was smoking, but shaming would generally make me feel bad which would trigger feelings of hopelessness and sap my willpower. To quit I needed emotional support.

But in this case I’m calling out the hypocrisy and self-righteousness more than criticizing methods.


I’m not sure that’s a fair assesment of how smokers feel or what motivates them.


You’re right. Shame does have it’s place and can be a force for postitive change.

But I absolutely agree that when you feel bad, you are driven to self medicate. Other people’s judgement only perpetuates that cycle.


I don’t think this billboard is meant to provoke shame in smokers so much as raise awareness, or just provide a reminder, that others find secondhand smoke both annoying and harmful to their health. If a smoker feels shamed as well, maybe that emotion springs as much or more from something inside themselves.


Stand downwind of me and public access ways, and I don’t care if you smoke. I ain’t ya mamma.

Stink up public entrances and exits with your cancer clouds and I’ll take every legal opportunity to make your life a little more difficult.

I have plenty of friends who smoke, including my wife who likes an occasional cigarette. But my friends and wife also have manners.

The billboard is just dickish.


I get what you’re saying, but I am not sure if it’s possible to use other people’s annoyance and disapproval bout a legal and personal choice without creating feelings of shame and judgement.


Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think this will discourage rude smokers. And I’m pretty sure almost all smokers know their habit is unhealthy and either moderate it or have accepted the consequences to their health. It’s hard to see how this billboard isn’t gratuitously patronizing.

If they’re ashamed of it, they almost certainly were before any billboard. Personally, if I was a cigarette smoker, I’d just consider this billboard self-righteous and condescending.


I think it could be argued that that shame is a cummulative effect of years of anti-smoking campaigns and coughers in passing.


I don’t see how this could work as shown in the video. I don’t see how the smoke could diffuse from the smokers to the sensors in that short a period of time. In some cases the sensors were upwind of the smoker!


I have friends who smoke, both tobacco and the chronic, but they are polite enough to moderate it when they are at my home. OTOH, when someone cruises by and liberates a big cloud of smoke or vapor in my direction, I probably won’t cough, but it may trigger my allergies and make me sneeze.

1 Like

Why feel ashamed if you’ve done nothing wrong to others? And if you have, why only feel ashamed when it’s pointed out? Part of adulthood is having a moral compass that isn’t at the whims of others. If someone harasses you for doing something you don’t believe is wrong, the correct response isn’t shame, it’s irritation followed by ignoring them, possibly after taking a moment to eviscerate them for being sanctimonious twits. The world would be less full of fools if they weren’t so often suffered.


Are you saying that smokers don’t harm other people?