Brand: Paraná Health Department
Watch This Man Ambush Smokers at the Point of Sale With a Brutally Personal PSA Because smoking doesn’t have to kill you to ruin your life
Even if your smoking habit doesn’t kill you, it can still make you miserable.
A new PSA from the Brazilian state of Paraña illustrates that point quite effectively with this long-form story of a middle-aged man whose generally happy life is marred by an illness that waited 14 years after he quit smoking to strike.
In a dulcet voiceover, João Cândido introduces introduces himself as a grandfather, professor and president of his Rotary Club. Then, in a reality-style portion of the clip, he plays a vendor at a newsstand, selling cigarettes to customers, with a twist.
In short, it builds on common scare tactics and tropes in a way that’s ultimately relatable. Cândido blames his habit in part on the influence of pop-culture icons like James Bond, an argument that’s so familiar it borders on trite, but that unfortunately also has the benefit of being true. (There’s also a cute nod to Tarzan, for the positive-examples column.)
And while the post-game reactions of some of his customers don’t seem entirely genuine, even that discrepancy conveys the bizarre psychology of addiction, wherein people repeat self-destructive behaviors despite knowing the risks.
In other words, it’s always good to have another visceral reminder—rather than, say, a cringe-worthy or laughable one—of the perils of smoking.