It is not uncommon for a smoker to want to smoke more because of anti-smoking commercials.

Well, guess what... It works the other way, too: One of the things that contributed to my recent decision to quit smoking was the deceptive advertising campaign by the Philip Morris company (even though I used to smoke Pall Mall made by Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation).

I hate deceptive advertising. I also am very good at detecting it.

Ever since tobacco companies have agreed not to target children and teen-agers in their advertising, the Philip Morris Company has increased the amount of its youth-targeted advertising.

For example, they started advertising how they are not advertising to the youth. How they work on preventing the children and teen-agers from starting to smoke.

Such a commercial typically shows a whole bunch of youngsters who look like real losers trying to convince a store owner to sell them a pack of smokes. The store owner refuses, of course. And he praises Philip Morris for making it easier for him to turn these young losers down.

The true message of the commercial is quite transparent: Smoking is cool and mature. It's not for losers. It is a challenge. Only smart kids smoke because they find better ways to get their cigarettes than trying to talk a store owner into breaking the law.

Seeing these commercials really makes my blood boil. While it certainly was not the only reason why I quit, it definitely was one of the factors.

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