A copy of R.J. Reynolds 2007 Monster Fishing advertisement which uses fishing as bait in an attempt to lure and hook children and teenagers to a lifetime of addiction to smoked nicotine.

Winston Local Legands 2007 No. 2 was mailed to R.J. Reynold's Winston's mailing list in mid June 2007. It included two coupons for $6.00 off each carton. The back side of the above fold-out contains a Legend nomiation form, additional shark fishing images and a hand-written, unsigned letter which reads: "Only after spending an hour hauling an 11-foot thresher shark did I realize the name "monster fishing" was no exaggeration. Every time I thought the shark was giving in he'd fight another round. Fortunately, Mark kept me focused and the shark surrendered. Certification complete, followed by a well-deserved smoke break.

"Monster Fishing," what a fitting analogy. I've emailed Mark asking him if he actually smokes, how long and what brand, and has he attempted quitting. If so, how many times? I asked him if he'd recommend to never-smokers that they take up smoking. In that nearly 90% of new smokers are children and teens, and without them R.J. Reynolds and Winston would be a failing business, I asked Mark if he felt that R.J. Reynolds' use of the excitement of shark fishing was actually using him as bait to entice youth into becoming hooked on smoking nicotine and thereafter battling this horrible monster for life? In that addiction to smoking nicotine is America's #1 cause of premature death, I asked Mark if he'd advise those already hooked to continue smoking. I don't doubt his braveness but I do doubt he'll answer my email. If he does I'll be sure and share his responses here.

Imagine searching for legends and then encouraging them to die 13 years early. What logic is that? The only alteration made to the above image was to add the word "VOID" atop the two coupons.

John R. Polito Editor WhyQuit

Page created June 19, 2007 and format updated June 13, 2015