When my husband, John, and I got engaged, I committed to learn the sport that was his passion: scuba diving.
Our inaugural dive trip was to Cozumel, Mexico where a very patient instructor, Junior, did a great job easing me into the experience. I had no problem with my equipment. No issues with the descent, clearing my mask or equalizing my ears.
What I couldn’t shake was a nagging feeling that, at any minute, I was going to be munched to bits by a great white shark. I was convinced that he was going to sneak up behind me and, starting with my fins, dismember me right there off the Palancar Reef.
Looking back, I smiled a little bit to myself last fall when we started working on a new ad campaign for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The Real Killers campaign juxtaposes the deep-seeded fears we each have – like the bloodbath I envisioned on my first scuba dive – with one thing that should really terrify us because it is so deadly to so many people: smoking.
While our fears of things that lurk in the deep or might kill us in our sleep are real in our minds, that’s not to say they’re rational. Last year, an average of only eight Americans actually died from a snake bite. Six from spiders. And despite what you might think watching the Discovery Channel, only one person was eaten by a shark.
Cigarettes, on the other hand, kill nearly 500,000 Americans a year. Half a million people. And the idea of lighting one up should scare smokers to death. Or, at least enough to make them quit. Real Killers offers a gritty look at how deadly smoking really is. And it offers a universal message: know the real threat and stay far, far away from cigarettes.
View the Real Killers campaign below.
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