In one way or another, filmmakers have always loved to pass along important messages about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. However, as we have seen, other directors prefer to focus on the negative, gritty aspects of life, particularly through films related to drug abuse and alcoholism. Films like Requiem for a Dream paint a psychedelic trip that will terrify more than teach, while movies like Never Back Down 3: No Surrender provide underlying yet powerful messages about self-destruction through self-promotion. So, did you ever think a director would make a film that actually promotes drugs? Without further ado, let’s see why you may have missed one of the most important educational films ever produced: Thank You for Smoking (2005).

Living a Lie and Loving It

Does Big Tobacco actually lie to us? That is the question actively addressed in the 2005 dark comedy/satire Thank You for Smoking, a film that paints a grisly yet (somehow) hilarious picture of the tobacco industry. Based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Buckley, the film does touch on the dangerous side effects of smoking but also focuses on an aspect of Big Tobacco that, for the most part, is rarely covered: propaganda.

The story follows the adventures (and sometimes misadventures) of Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), a handsome, smooth-talking tobacco lobbyist and the Vice President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies. His mission is relatively simple: to promote and sell cigarettes. When he is not campaigning for the glorious thrill of nicotine, Nick spends time with his two friends (lobbyists for the alcohol and firearms industry) about advertising. Meanwhile, he must struggle to maintain a strong bond with his son and eventually take part in a trial in superior court (similar to an incident involving Big Tobacco in the ‘90s).

Lessons Learned and Brains Befuddled

In 1999, the United States government cracked down on Big Tobacco for actively lying about the dangers of cigarettes. However, in a very unusual twist, one scene involving the courtroom hearing takes a completely unique turn. Rather than fully defending his company, Nick Naylor defends the public (on two different levels). He explains that cigarettes are dangerous but, ultimately, the public has the choice to decide if they want to use nicotine. In a hilarious moment where he compares tobacco to cheese, Nick also stresses the importance of honesty and knowledge. In other words, the film itself is a metaphor for cigarette use. Smoking and ensuing health problems are 100% preventable, but the decision to pick one up is ultimately yours (not the company’s).

Always remember that cigarettes and other tobacco products do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance abuse disorder or addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.

The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug addiction and substance abuse troubles today.


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