What seems to have surprised the health authorities most about the current anti-smoking campaign is the fact that it appears to be having very little effect on the younger sectors of society. However, this is hardly surprising. You can certainly frighten older people with cancer, imminent slow death and other such dangers, but most under twenty-year-olds can’t even conceive what this means. They can’t see far enough ahead to fear death: if they imagine their own funeral, it is a self-indulgent vision, with all their favourite friends sobbing and saying how unfortunate and gorgeous they were.
Young people live in the right now, and what they are really afraid of, right now, is smelling bad and looking ugly. You can frighten 16-year-olds with an exaggerated threat of smoker’s halitosis, that sickly smell that no amount of chewing gum can get rid of. You know – the smell that other people detect even when you can’t; the kind that makes members of the opposite sex turn away when you try to kiss them for the first time.
In the 1980s, public health advertisements in Britain tried to extract the attraction from heroin with the slogan “Heroin screws you up” and a picture of a teenager with a really dreadful skin. The slogan may not have been very effective, but the acne worked well. I suggest that different anti-smoking campaigns should be designed for different age-groups, and that those for young people should show what it does to the living, and forget about threats of death.
1. Write a title in English which best summarises the text and justify your answer (25 - 40 words).
2. Explain in English the meaning of the following expressions as used in the text.
a) Most under twenty-year-olds: This means “the majority of people who are not 20 years old yet.”
b) Young people live in the right now: This means that young people think about today more than about tomorrow.
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one
a) You can certainly frighten older people with the danger of imminent slow death
4. Answer the following questions in your own words. The information must be taken from the text.
a) Why is the present anti-smoking campaign not successful with young people, according to the author?
The present anti-smoking campaign is not successful because it talks about cancer, and tries to frighten young people, but they are not afraid of dying because they cannot imagine their own death.
b) What sort of campaign does he think would have an effect on the young?
5. Apart from the anti-smoking slogans on cigarette packets, what other steps should the health authorities take to stop people smoking? (Minimum 80 words, maximum 100).
I think the health authorities should stop people from smoking on buses and trains. They should make them pay if they do it, because at the moment people do not respect others, but if they had to pay some money they would not smoke there. Besides this, they should stop advertisements for cigarettes in public places. In this way, people would not think of smoking so much when they are going along the street. Finally, they should give courses at school to help children stop the habit. They could call them: “Good habits and bad habits”.