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Watch This Man Ambush Smokers at the Point of Sale With a Brutally Personal PSA


Even if your smoking habit doesn't kill you, it can still make you miserable.

A new PSA from the Brazilian state of Paraña illustrates that point quite effectively with this long-form story of a middle-aged man whose generally happy life is marred by an illness that waited 14 years after he quit smoking to strike.

In a dulcet voiceover, João Cândido introduces introduces himself as a grandfather, professor and president of his Rotary Club. Then, in a reality-style portion of the clip, he plays a vendor at a newsstand, selling cigarettes to customers, with a twist.

In short, it builds on common scare tactics and tropes in a way that's ultimately relatable. Cândido blames his habit in part on the influence of pop-culture icons like James Bond, an argument that's so familiar it borders on trite, but that unfortunately also has the benefit of being true. (There's also a cute nod to Tarzan, for the positive-examples column.)

And while the post-game reactions of some of his customers don't seem entirely genuine, even that discrepancy conveys the bizarre psychology of addiction, wherein people repeat self-destructive behaviors despite knowing the risks.

In other words, it's always good to have another visceral reminder—rather than, say, a cringe-worthy or laughable one—of the perils of smoking.

Client: Paraná Health Department
Title: When Smoking Does Not Kill
Agency: OpusMúltipla
Creative Director: Renato Cavalher
Copywriters: César Noda and Eduardo Lubiazi
Art Director: Luis Bacellar
Agency Producer: Edson Perin
Planner: Tiago Stachon
Account Directors: Daniela Capeletti and Christiane Brum
Digital Media: Analú Milek dos Santos and Rodrigo Goedicke
Social Media: Abner David Tumeo
Press Office: Daniela Weber Licht
Client's Approval: Fabiola Maziero Sant'Anna
Director: Eduardo Lubiazi
Director of Photography: Yuri Maranhão
Assistant Photography: Eduardo Azevedo
Editor/Color Correct: João Machado
Production Manager: Carolina Cherobim
Video Production: The Youth
Soundtrack: Gramy

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