One way to reduce the influence of cigarette advertising on young people is to get them to laugh at it, says Alan Blum, a Manhasset, N.Y., physician and founder of DOC (Doctors Ought to Care), a nationwide network of doctors against smoking.
At a recent anti-drug-abuse conference here he spoke to an audience of high school students.
''Cigarettes are a bummer,'' he told them. Then he showed them mock advertisements designed to make fun of the real ads. One, a parody on the slogan , ''I smoke for taste,'' was entitled ''I smoke for smell,'' and showed a handsome model with a cigarette in his nose. This brought a burst of applause and laughter from the young audience.
''Smoking is ridiculous,'' he said in an interview after the presentation. ''It does nothing good for anyone except take their money.''
Since he founded DOC in 1977, some 1,000 doctors have joined, he said. Some anti-cigarette ads have run in Miami. DOC members in Seattle have run ads in buses and on TV and radio, says Emily Gibson, a physician there. ''Smoking stinks'' is one of the messages used in Seattle.
Some DOC volunteers have been giving talks about cigarette and other health issues in schools in Seattle and Greenwood, S.C.