Nowadays, we’re aware of the effects that smoking can have on the body, particularly how it can lead to lung cancer, the most common and most dangerous type of cancer. Even so, it can be a bit hard to get people to understand the message of how smoking can ruin a person’s life. That’s why the Food & Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products has released a “quirky” series of short animation to inform young people about the issue.
Little Lungs – the protagonist of this set of animation – is meant to represent the effects of smoking from a young age, particularly when teenagers (the target demographic for this PSA) can have on a person.
This pair of sad lungs wishes they could do all the things their friends can do such as skiing, swimming and cycling, but the fact that they smoked when they were younger now makes it so that they can barely hold their breath.
The team behind these videos decided to take inspiration from more slapstick and bizarre animation series such as Robot Chicken and South Park. This was all for the purpose of creating a PSA that could not only be fun (and gruesome) but also to create a character that people could both feel bad towards but also understand why the things that happened to him happened.
It’s not like teens these days haven’t seen PSAs that tell them what they shouldn’t do, but usually, these PSAs tend to be more than a little hard to see (graphic images of wasted lungs everyone), and after a while, it can get easy just to ignore them.
Simply said, past PSAs haven’t stopped people from trying to smoke, especially teenagers who want to be seen as ‘cool’ or when they’re in the rebellious phase. Smoking from a young age doesn’t just cause lung deficiency; the exposure to tobacco can also lead to other diseases and even cause the lungs to develop tumours that could eventually result in cancer.
So it’s easy to see why a series of short like the Little Lungs might help a bit more in that regard. Teens aren’t being told what’s wrong with smoking, but can instead see it with their eyes and see the things that they’ll be missing if they subject themselves to vices such as smoking at an early age. It’s not just developing diseases, but also missing out on events and things that are essential for daily life.
Sure, the videos might be a bit too graphic, but it’s all in a lighthearted manner, and if it manages to get the message across (and make a change in the world) then there shouldn’t be any problem. We just hope that thanks to ads like these there’s less Little Lungs in the world.
Photo Credits: Animation World Network