Veteran sex therapist Bettina Arndt has combined her favourite topic with her least-favourite habit in an attempt to stop ‘young studs’ smoking.
Arndt launched an attack on young men who smoke in her op-ed for The Sydney Morning Herald today, explaining the effect on their sexual performance in no uncertain terms. “The link between smoking and erectile dysfunction is strongest in younger men, and the more they smoke the more likely their equipment will let them down,” she said. “Australia is a world leader in producing powerful advertising campaigns which very effectively spread the message about the health impacts of smoking. But there is one consequence that rarely makes it on to the radar: the impact below the belt for men.”
The argument is certainly a -ahem- strong one, which Arndt points out has worked successfully in other countries such as Brazil and the UK (pictured, above). The column came in the wake of new anti-smoking measures coming into effect in NSW, with apartment blocks in Ashfield adopting a new bylaw to cut smoking altogether. But as Arndt correctly indicates, there’s no stronger place to hit young men with an invincibility complex than their junk. “Anti-smoking campaigns always have trouble reaching young men, who feel they are bullet-proof. Perhaps we would have a better chance of getting through by explaining why smoking means shooting themselves not in the foot, but in the crotch,” she says, likening it in power to the RTA’s highly successful ‘Nobody Thinks Big Of You’ ads which targeted male speeding. “If we could persuade women to give male smokers a drooping pinkie sign, we might just get somewhere.”
What do you think? Is focusing on young dudes’ crown jewels the most effective way to get them to quit the ciggies? Young smoking men of Australia, we want your opinions.