Modern-day cigarette packets could not be clearer — ‘Smoking Kills’.
This message is the culmination of many years of progressively more dire health warnings enforced on tobacco companies by governments trying to ensure the health of their citizens.
The thinking here — that the softly-softly approach just does not work — is in stark contrast to the tactics deployed 28 years ago.
On January 3 1989 the Tele ran a feature, ‘How to snap out of smoking’ that harks back to a time when health experts trod on eggshells to ensure smokers did not take offence.
Call it the health branch of political correctness, if you will.
The article read: ‘Arc you the sort of person who would do anything to give up smoking? Well, why not try snapping a rubber wristband on National No Smoking Day?
‘Special rubber wristbands have been produced for the day, which will be held on March 8. Made in a variety of colours, the bands feature tags carrying slogans such as “Beware! Smoker trying to stop,” “Please don’t offer me one, I’m trying to give up” and “Be nice to me, I’m trying to stop.”
‘They are designed to help as many people as possible to give up the habit and encourage support from family and friends.’
The article states this method was based on an aversion therapy technique reported in a medical magazine.
It added: ‘Quitting smokers who feel the urge for a quick puff can avert their minds by twanging the wristband against their wrists.
‘However, the mam aim of the wristband is to make National No Smoking Day a fun day — as much as that is possible!’
It is amazing how a sweet whiff of nostalgia can make you miss the days when simply walking into a cafe used to make your eyes sting and unable to see over the other side of the room due to thick fumes.
Before the revolution
While we can now enter eateries and pubs without being hit by a wall of smoke, in the modern day we miss out on the fun of not being able to communicate with our loved ones on public transport.
It was rather fun when you used to embark on a long journey and depart from civilisation at the same time.
Twenty-eight years ago this was still largely the case, but the Information Revolution was slowly creeping in.
Take this letter to the Tele on January 3 1989 by ‘Phones On Wheels’ of Broughty Ferry: ‘The morning after seeing my daughter off on the 9.09 Dundee to London train I got a swiftly-transported first-class letter from her.
‘”If I’d had the correct coins I would have phoned you from the train,” she said. “There’s a call box just beside the buffet car.”
‘Was she pulling my leg, or can it be done nowadays?’
Very good question. Luckily the Tele was there to answer: ‘A ScotRail spokesman said that on a number of Anglo-Scottish trains there were indeed telephones. They were installed a few months ago on the “sleeper line” vehicles.’
Things would never be the same again.