I called the EU about its „Day of the Ex-Smoker“ app and tried it out myself

Did you know that today, the 26th of September, is the „Day of the Ex-Smoker“? Yes, it is, and actually it is in the whole of the European Union. The Health section of the European Commission set up the homepage http://www.exsmokers.eu, so you can congratulate people who quit smoking and listen to DJ Bob Sinclair (which I haven’t heard of before either) saying: „Since the smoking ban in nightclubs, my life has changed. Thank you everyone!“

I thought: Quite nice campaign, but I do have some questions, so I called the Spokesperson of the European Health Commission, Frédéric Vincent, on his mobile.

He picked up, said he call me back in 15 minutes, which he did, and after a quick introduction I pulled out my first hard-hitting question: „Will there be a Day of the Smoker, as well?“ First there was silence, then he bursted out laughing and said: „No.“

A pity. Smokers never get anything. Except tax raises.

My next question „How much did it cos…?“ I couldn’t even really finish, as he quickly replied: „33 million euro over the past three years.“

He explained that this Day of the Ex-Smoker is the conclusion of a long campaign and that there were some other activities before. Then we talked about the overall approach of the Commission battling smoking. He explained that in the past the EU always made campaigns like „Quit smoking or you are going to die“, now they try out a more „positive approach“.

The campaign was done by Saatchi & Saatchi, a super big, super global advertising company with 6,500 employees in 76 countries, according to Wikipedia.

So I thought, when the Commission puts so much effort in this, I – as a good EU citizen and taxpayer – have to use this. But when I wanted to congratulate someone and clicked on Connect with Facebook, this popped up:Image

I was, like, naaaaaah, that’s not worth it. So I used the alternative and connected with Twitter. Then this message appeared:


Okay, I have to admit I haven’t connected my Twitter Account to anything before that, but can someone explain me why the EU wants to update my profile? At least it can’t change my password… But I guess when the Commission wants to do anything with my account, it may ask the NSA anyway. So screw it. I signed in and congratulated some of my good friends, namely: the European Commission, the EU Regional Policy and the EU Commission of Regions.


That’s how it looks:

Isn’t that fun?

Sadly they haven’t answered yet. Maybe the guys in the Commission never were smokers… Dammit. That’s a question I could have asked Frédéric Vincent. But now I don’t wanna call him again. It’s past 7pm already. And I need a smoke.


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