NYC Fights Smoking With Reality Images in Matchbooks..

September 24, 2008 - To make smokers aware of the deadly consequences of tobacco smoking the New York City Health Department's is running its "Eating You Alive" campaign. Matchbooks (approximately 400,000) will be given away at 132 cigarette retailers in various areas of New York City. Inside the matchbooks the smokers finds the words "Cigarettes Are Eating You Alive" with gruesome pictures of blackened lungs, bulging throat cancers and other smoking consequences. Sarah Perl, the department's assistant commissioner for tobacco control has said, "having it on the inside of the matchbook provides an element of surprise.". An anonymous donor provided the $25,000 printing cost. More matchbooks.

Manufacturing of matchbooks peaked during the 1940s and 50s, then steadily declined because of the availability of disposable lighters and various anti-smoking health campaigns.

A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that New York City’s smoking rate has plummeted since anti-smoking measures were adopted in 2002. In 2002 New York City increased the tobacco tax, eliminated smoking in virtually all workplaces, and launched hard-hitting anti-tobacco ads. Of the 8 million people in NYC approximately 1 million still smoke resulting in nearly 8,000 dying from smoking-related illnesses every year or more than 25 per day.

Recently, Health Canada it has been found cigarette packages would have a greater effect on smokers if the images covered most of the pack.

David Byrne, the European Union’s former commissioner for health and consumer protection has said, “People need to be shocked out of their complacency about tobacco. I make no apology for some of the pictures we are using.”

References: New York City Launches Aggressive Anti-Smoking Campaign by Alice Carver, eFLUXMedia, 9/23/2008; City targets smokers with gruesome matchbooks by Elisabeth Butler Cordova,, 9/22/2008 and Health Dept. Distributes Matchbooks With Grim Alert by By SEWELL CHAN, New York Times, 9/22/2008.

We wonder what has happened to the Bill that was before the New York City Council to prohibit smoking in cars with minors??