Blacklung, Ky. — Faced with dying customers, restrictive laws, and lawsuits from smokers who get sick from using their product, cigarette companies have been on a desperate search for a new customer base. Now they believe they’ve found it.
“We’re targeting pets,” said Nicole Graham, a spokeswoman for Smoking Gun, an alliance of cigarette companies. “The days of the dog fetching your pipe and slippers is over!”
“This is an exciting new market, with no downside,” said Graham. “Animals like cigarettes. We used to give them to monkeys when we were testing nicotine addiction and we couldn’t keep the little fellas away from the stuff.”
Graham listed some other advantages of getting cats and dogs to smoke:
• Pets don’t care whether or not cigarettes are bad for them.
•Smokers are tired of being ostracized by the nonsmoking community. They would love to have someone nonjudgmental to kick back and share a smoke with.
•Pets don’t exhibit the deleterious effects of smoking. Their natural dog/cat breath covers “smoker’s breath” and owners can’t really tell if they’re winded or simply panting.
•Pets don’t go through the annoying agony of trying to quit.
•Pets have a shorter life span, so they will probably die from something other than cancer.
•Pets can’t sue.
•Unlike humans, cats and dogs have large litters. These little fur balls will be born with a nicotine addiction, like cats and catnip.
•No one will tell a pit bull to put out his cigarette.
•Teaching a dog or cat to smoke will create a bond between pet and owner.
“The advertising will make a healthy psychological appeal to the suppressed predatory nature of pets,” Graham said. “Our first launches will be Sparrow and Newsboy. Manlier pets will be wooed with Marlburro. And, of course, there’s our still-secret scented cigarette Butt — but I don’t want to say too much about that yet.”