Erasmo Calzadilla

Companies try to associate their products with young healthy, beautiful and athletic people, or simply those with power.

When I see nice people I try to imitate them.  This happens to me unconsciously; as I’m sure it does with many others.

For some time, marketing specialists have noted a similar human impulse to participate in beauty, and they exploit this profusely to call the attention to the merchandise they’re trying to push.

Companies try to associate their products with young healthy, beautiful and athletic people, or simply those with power.  The result has been considerable increases in sales, prestige and of course profits.

But I thought that smoking affected people’s health.  My friends who suffer from that vice look prematurely old.  One had to change all of his dental work and another one is called a troll because of the way his teeth look, all pitted and yellowed. What’s more, both guys are my same age.

That’s why I was surprised when I saw a billboard advertising the brand “Popular” cigarettes that was displaying young people as being so vibrant with smiles so strikingly beautiful.

I don’t know what could have convinced $o many people to promote or to allow the promotion of that vice that i$ $o harmful to Cuban$, and e$pecially among youth$.

Our paternal socialist State —which takes care of us with such tirelessness— should reflect on this situation and call attention to the very creative designers of the Popular brand so that the murderous and destructive character of smoking can be noted in their advertising.

It’s not enough to attach a warning label telling people that smoking harms their health, because the overflowing vitality of the models effectively negates it; a single image impresses more than a thousand words.

I propose changing the photo for one with a person dying of cancer.  I’m sure this would convince many people not to walk around with Popular cigarettes hanging from their mouths.  However, it seems that profits are more important than people’s health, though ultimately those profits will have to be spent on caring for those who become sick from the aromatic product.

While we hope that those who are responsible for this reflect on it, I am calling on all people who are sensitive to this issue to take direct action: to protest and boycott the murderous billboards by any and all means possible, and to prevent any more of these destructive signs from being erected in their communities and workplaces.


Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

3 thoughts on “I’m Anti-Popular

  • In Canada, direct warnings as well as images of decayed teeth/gums are printed on cigarette packages. The label clearly states that smoking causes cancer, heart disease and shouldn’t be done if pregnant. It’s also illegal to sell to minors.

    It would be a geat idea, as mentioned by Julio, to state the costs associated with this practice. I’m sure that would start the change in mentality.

  • If only the talented people designing these advertizing campaigns would be assigned to plough their energies into advancing socialist consciousness by means of mass media products which most people would truly enjoy and find interesting and informative.

    And there is always the option of ‘direct action’ against such offending billboards… After all, the state is ignoring the will of the people and doesn’t deserve as much respect (and compliance) as it probably thinks it does.

  • “I propose changing the photo for one with a person dying of cancer. ”

    Great idea!

    also to place statistics about how many die from cancer provoke by tobacco products and how much do their cancer medical care cost to the people of Cuba.

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