New York City health officials want smokers to pause (and cringe) before lighting up. Gotham's campaign against the deadly habit has plastered matchbooks with graphic, disgusting images of how smoking destroys the body.
“Throat cancer, gum disease, blackened lungs, these are the realities of smoking,” said Thomas Frieden, the city's health commissioner, in a statement unveiling the campaign. The gruesome images—close-ups of mouth cancer, blackened teeth and rotting gums, tumors and diseased lungs—are accompanied by an equally blunt message: Cigarettes are eating you alive.
Smokers can collect the matchbooks free at more than 130 cigarette retailers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
It seems the city would wrap cigarettes themselves in such macabre packaging, if law allowed. It does not, the health department acknowledged.
“Many countries put these images right on the cigarette pack, where they belong,” Frieden said.