Philip Morris sponsors 'Start and Win' contest

New York, New York-Tobacco company Philip Morris announced yesterday the unveiling of a new ‘Start and Win’ contest. The contest, tentatively set to run for an indefinite amount of time, will encourage non-smokers to try tobacco and includes such prizes as free packs, Philip Morris merchandise, and a 2005 Ford F-250 truck as the grand prize.

“We’re losing so much of our business to the supposed health risks involved with smoking that we had to shut down one of our plants in South Carolina,” public relations officer Judy Sane said. “Health units have been initiating ‘Quit and Win’ contests, so we figured we’d take a page out of their books and launch our own contest-the Philip Morris way!” Sane, a non-smoker, is being flagged as a hypocrite for endorsing an activity that she does not partake in. “Well, you know, my grand-mother died of esophagus cancer, and since cancer does have a genetic predisposition, just to stay on the safe side, I don’t smoke.” After being silent for a few seconds, Sane added this thought: “But I so totally would!”

Forty-five year old Jeffrey Wong, a non-smoker all of his life, is enthusiastic about the contest. “At some point during their childhood, every boy-including me–wanted to be the Marlboro Man. Now I can!” Wong accented the point by lighting up a cigarette and dramatically exhaling. “Now this is pleasure!” he replied, in between coughing fits. “You know, I don’t know why I never took up this habit when younger. I mean, all the cool kids did it. I always thought it was incredibly stupid to knowingly kill yourself just to stick it to authority. But now I realize I would have had an immediate rapport with the rebels and the bad girls who put out for anybody. Do you even know how much pussy I’ve missed out on?!” Commenting about the strong taste of tobacco, Wong responded, “I guess like beer, it’s an acquired taste.” Upon inquiring if he was a winner, Wong produced the pack which had “Sorry, please try again” printed on the inside. “You know what, though? I’m already a winner for having such a delicious vice!” Wong then gagged and ran to the bathroom.

Helen Witt, a public health nurse, was appalled at the announcement of the contest. “I found a press release of the contest in the fax machine this morning. I thought it was a joke! Don’t people realize that even second-hand smoke can cause lung cancer? Not to mention that smoking stains the skin and teeth, prematurely ages the skin, and cigarettes contain thousands of known chemicals, including ammonia?!” When asked if the health unit’s annual ‘Quit and Win’ contest would have bigger prizes to entice more people to stop smoking, Witt replied, “We don’t have enough funds. We spent them all on avian flu protection posters. Honestly, we thought it was going to be the new plague.”

Thomas Chittka, president of Philip Morris USA, is delighted over the public’s interest in the contest. “We’ve seen sales shoot up three percent so far!” Chittka announced. To celebrate the success, Chittka produced a large Cuban cigar. When asked why he didn’t smoke Philip Morris products, Chittka replied, “American cigarettes are shit. Cuban’s the way to go, baby!”