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May Wilkerson May Wilkerson

Video: Anti-Smoking Campaign Targets Women With Motto “Stay Pretty”

An Australian campaign tries to scare women into quitting smoking by showing it will damage their looks.

5 Substance

Would a fear of looking old (and therefore “ugly”) be the straw that broke your Camels habit? An anti-smoking campaign from Queensland, Australia, claims to show you the effects of smoking on your future self (spoiler alert: it’s not pretty). The campaign is being aimed at women, aged 18-to-24, with the warning that smoking breaks down the collagen in your skin and prematurely ages your face. To prove that “smoking is not hot!” they lured young women to “make-under” stations, where they had their faces done by professional make-up artists to show how they would look (allegedly) after years of smoking. The “after” photos show women with lined, greying skin and even yellowing teeth for full effect.

If you missed out on your own make-under, you can upload your favorite selfie onto the Queensland Health website to see the sight of your own smoking-ravaged face. “Cigarettes seriously ruin your looks—we’re talking wrinkles, damaged hair and blotchy, saggy skin,” says the group’s website. ”You’ll look way older than you actually are. And let’s not forget the yellow teeth and bad breath. Go smoke free. Stay pretty.”

The campaign has apparently been effective, boosting calls to a quit-line by 15%. But playing into the idea that women care more about their looks than the health of their internal organs is its own kind of ugly.