Smoke on the water? Not here!

March 15, 1994|By Kevin Cowherd

Commercial, 30 seconds, Maryland is Breathin' Easy! campaign.

(Video: Dawn on the Chesapeake Bay. A seagull glides lazily over the waves. The sun rises majestically behind a lighthouse. Watermen lift teeming baskets of crabs on the deck of a workboat.)

Music is light, airy.

Announcer: There's a place on the Eastern Shore . . .

(Aerial shot of colonial-era church with white steeple.)

Where the seafood is the best in the world!

(Huge table is heaped with oysters, clams, etc.)

But if you come to Maryland . . .

(Shot of smiling family in late-model automobile; Mom studies map.)

There're two things you should know.

(Inner Harbor is shown glittering at night.)

No. 1, we'll treat you like royalty . . .

(A beaming William Donald Schaefer waves from window of Governor's Mansion in Annapolis.)

And No. 2, we don't cotton to smokers.

(Police SWAT team kicks in the door of a rowhouse; the wide-eyed resident frantically stabs out a Marlboro and runs for a rear exit.)

So whether you're watching the O's at Camden Yards . . .

(Cal Ripken line-doubles off no-smoking sign; gives thumbs-up sign.)

Or visiting the Baltimore zoo . . .

(A baboon grimaces as smokers walk by.)

Or having lunch at McDonald's . . .

(Teen-age fry cook looks up, spots customer smoking, glares.)

Our message is simple:

(Fry cook hurriedly dials 911.)

Don't light up!

(Police arrive. Smoker is led out in handcuffs as other customers cheer.)

Because in Maryland . . .

(Smiling fellow workers gather around fry cook and pat him on back.)

We care about your health!

(Fry cook receives commendation from mayor as proud parents look on.)

Sure, we're tough on smokers . . .

(Brooding shot of state penitentiary walls encircled by concertina wire.)

And getting even tougher.

(Cell door clangs shut behind elderly man with hacking cough pleading for a Salem as guard sneers.)

We're considering some of the most rigorous smoking bills in the country.

(Shot of General Assembly in session.)

One bans smoking in the workplace.

(Shivering smokers huddle outside office building as passersby point and jeer.)

Another prohibits minors from smoking.

(Man with mirrored sunglasses cruises middle-class neighborhood in sleek Cadillac laughingly tossing cartons of cigarettes at pleading youngsters.)

One raises the tobacco tax 25 cents per pack.

(Man is shown entering convenience store with two bags of gold. He leaves with a single carton of Winstons.)

One even bans cigarette vending machines!

(Mountains of battered, useless vending machines are strewn about a fetid landfill.)

Some call us far-thinking and visionary . . .

(Stirring shot of Stars and Stripes rippling in the breeze over Fort McHenry.)

Although a few sourpusses might say we're repressive and dictatorial.

(Old World War II footage of cheering fascists saluting Mussolini.)

We just think . . .

(A police cruiser screeches to a halt next to a church; man smoking outside is hustled away despite his protesta- tions.)

There are better ways to enjoy yourself!

(Shot of smiling family eating ice cream cones in park.)

So if you come to Maryland . . .

(Shot of milling crowds at Harborplace.)

Do the right thing!

(A man pulls a pack of cigarettes from his pocket, shrugs, tosses them in a trash can.)

To ensure that your stay is pleasant . . .

(Lone smoker on downtown bench is suddenly set upon by angry mob.)

Leave that filthy habit at home!

(As smoker is pummeled viciously, a nearby cop nods and smiles.)

This message brought to you . . .

(Governor Schaefer gives A-OK sign.)

By the Committee to Promote Tourism.

(Parting shots of Cal Ripken, Mayor Kurt Schmoke, various watermen, hoteliers, restaurant owners and ordinary citizens smiling and waving.)

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