You know what’s really fun? But no, like really, really fun? Smoking. Because when you’re young and your parents tell you not to do things and all your cool classmates are out puffing away behind the school, nothing feels more like freedom than joining them and ripping the hell out of your lungs just because you can. Even in 2016, smoking is often advertised as something that brings people together and makes for a fun night out with all of your friends.
But wait: Is it really that fun? As more and more venues crack down on smoking and everyone’s becoming even more aware of how dangerous the practice (and we’re including vaping here) is, it’s becoming harder to view smoking as a little harmless break without consequences. And if you’re someone who’s addicted to your sweet, sweet full-flavor Camels then you’re already likely paying the price of having to miss out on important conversation because you had to go out to smoke, or trekking through miles and miles of uncharted territory at your favorite music festival because the smoking section is as far away from the main stage as the organizers could get it.
Now a new problem arises: Don’t worry about that festival — you won’t even be able to afford it. While you may know that smoking is correlated with many physical ailments (and a shortened lifespan), what many don’t know is that it’s also correlated with a drop in income. According to a new study, smokers are less likely to be hired and can earn up to 20 percent less than those who don’t smoke. And when you’re unemployed or not earning enough money and are still buying cigarettes? That’s a recipe for disaster.
That’s why Truth — which released a statement saying that 88 percent of teens don’t know that smoking is related to income — is capitalizing on our inherent need to be social to drive home the point that smoking is bad in their new ad campaign. And if you don’t want to end up #squadless (that’s not how you get to be Taylor Swift!), you may want to consider ditching the cigs and start chewing gum instead (especially if you want to earn). It’s cheaper, cleaner, and no one’s going to judge you for dumping an entire pack of Trident into your mouth at one time like some bubble-blowing monster from The Planet Bob. Trust us, you’ll look just as cool.
It’s an excellent idea: People may not care about what happens to their body — especially if it’s happening over time and not right now — but they’ll certainly care about not being able to afford Amazon Prime.