Are the new cigarette ads doing more harm than helping?

Imagine it’s Tuesday, December 7, 2010 and it’s just a few moments before be 8:00 pm when I know that ABC is going to play Charlie Browns Christmas.  It’s one of my favorites and I am looking forward to sharing it with my daughter.  When all of sudden I and my 3 year old are faced with surgical hands covered in blood working on the beating heart of a supposed smoker.  Who would dare to expose my little girl to that kind of gore when we have been promised a beautiful Christmas story!  In my opinion it is tantamount to child abuse.  The commercial that we were accosted by can be found HERE, but please be aware that it is not appropriate for children. Needless to say I turned off the Television and turned on an appropriate Holiday program on Netflix.
These new ads are nothing more than gross out ads against smoking.  Up until now I have been a fan of the anti smoking campaign and believe that it has been successful in turning public opinion against such a devastating and addictive product.
I must however draw the line at these new ads.  They are extremely graphic and inappropriate to the use to which they have been put.  Research has proven that people will become desensitized to such graphic situations when repeatedly exposed to such materials.
The irresponsibility of making these ads are compounded by the way in which they are being aired.  They are being aired in the early evenings when I am trying to watch the evening news, with my child playing in the room, and immediately preceding children’s specials.  Is it really wise to try and save some people from a self destructive habit by sacrificing small impressionable children?
It is shocking to me that in a world where more and more of the public are opting to turn off the television for digital media like Netflix that corporations like ABC would be willing to pipe these reprehensible, irresponsible and inappropriate graphics into our homes.  For my household this was the final push to complete the deletion of major broadcast from being allowed in our home.

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