The whackier extremes in tobacco control: smoking in the movies and in the lavatory

(Before I forget I must thank Patricia over at NicotineBuzz for distributing as much tobacco related news as she does; in the last few days amongst them were these two stories which otherwise I might easily have missed.)

1. ‘54% youth take to smoking due to Bollywood, regional cinema’

We have written before about the ludicrous suggestion that the movies (as opposed to either the real world, or even television) are responsible for a substantial portion of youth taking up smoking (here and here and here and here; what can I say -it’s a great topic!). Well, take that story travelling over a few borders, and as they say, the gloves come off, and we find out that in India, the movies, or Bollywood, is responsible for 54% of youth smoking and 30% of the rest! (Article from the Times of India here).

Gladstone D’Costa of VHAG, pointed out that filmmakers often cited creative freedom as reasons for them to portray smoking in films.

“What is more important? The creative freedom of the film industry or the destruction of 114 lives every hour from tobacco related diseases?” he questioned.

Salkar added, “All creative film directors should visit hospitals offering treatment for cancer and see the suffering the patients endure. Only when the film directors see these struggles will they be aware of the consequences tobacco has on human lives.”

It seems that only the creative film directors should be visiting the cancer wards; plodding unimaginative film directors need not.  The good news is that we can keep Bollywood operating; all we really need to do is get rid of all those creative film directors.

2. Officials: Bathroom Stall Doors Removed To Prevent Smoking

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Students at McGavock High School have lost some privacy after school officials removed nearly all bathroom stall doors.

School administrators said students have been smoking in the bathrooms, so they removed several stall doors in order to prevent them from lighting up in the lavatory.

Officials said there is at least one stall in each bathroom that still has a door.

Wait til others in tobacco control hear about this innovative move. I suppose staff (or civic minded fellow students) would smell the cigarettes but the malefactor would flush them and then claim innocence.

I can’t help but think that if one stall is left, the smokers will crowd into it while the non smokers will be forced to evacuate in full view of their fellow students. (And while I am sure that in the interests of fairness, the administration probably did the same in their own washrooms, they are probably too modest to say so.)

– Paul L. Bergen

Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  • Michael J. McFadden  On December 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    The students should simply get bathroom passes, and come back to class 30 minutes later after having had to “wait in line” for the lone privacy stall. Sad to say, this sort of nonsense isn’t unique. Check out the cute little Big Brother devices at:

    Ain’t technology grand?

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  • Paul  On December 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Oh that would have been worth adding…Nick-a-teen! From the “company with the sunny disposition”! There’s money to be made being a bastard or enabling the petty tyrants out there.

  • Jonathan Bagley  On December 3, 2010 at 6:37 am

    I don’t believe that photo. There are no marks where mountings or brakets have been removed. This looks like a hoax.

    • Paul  On December 3, 2010 at 8:55 am

      You are correct in that that photo is not from the school. I reprinted the whole article here and no photo was part of the report. I meant the photo merely as an illustration. I found it at this blog about Dachau (and no I was not making a direct parallel with the camps) and even there it seemed rather modern looking to be part of the camp. See original at

%d bloggers like this: