Personal mail is scarce these days (read: all my friends and family only communicate via e-mail), except during the holidays. So many cards come from afar; it warms the cockles of my holiday heart. I reached for my mail the other day — a card sized crisp white envelope was on top. Excited to see who had sent this holiday card, I flipped the envelope over and there was my name printed in a suspicious mass generated way. Upon opening the envelope, more than my cockles were warm. I was mad, and fittingly mad at that. I had been marketed to directly by American Spirit. Yep the organic cigarette maker was playing advertising hardball.
My first thought was this has to be illegal, but why would they waste their time and money if it were. The envelope was stamped with the same warnings found on cigarette packages. Still, how did they get my name and address. When I subscribe to a magazine, I add a fake middle initial to my subscription name. The fake middle initial is the first letter of the magazine title so I can track which publication sells my name, but there was no middle initial on the envelope.
This is not the first time I have been bothered by a cigarette ad. They are everywhere and always annoying. I was shocked to receive an offer for coupons for cigarettes through the mail. I find the idea of coupons for discounted smokes kind of funny, too. Isn’t the supposed allure of smoking that it is cool? Coupons must be the antithesis of cool.
Don’t even get me started on the whole “organic cigarette” thing. A cigarette is a cigarette, and organic tobacco is just as bad for you as the commercially grown stuff.