The latest anti-smoking campaign has seen the message that smoking causes genetic mutations being misinterpreted by science fiction fans who have long fantasised about suddenly developing superpowers. With the chances of being bitten by a radioactive spider lower than ever and lab accidents involving secret research less likely than a lottery win, the opportunity to irreversibly alter your genetic code by smoking several tabs a day has been jumped on by many X-Men fans.
‘If just 15 cigarettes is enough to cause a genetic mutation that could potentially cause a tumour, then just think what smoking forty a day could do,’ said Simon Best, who has sold his entire comic collection to fund his new habit. ‘It’s quite expensive, but I’ve managed to keep it up so far and still have my action figures that I could sell if I start to struggle. It should all be worth it in the end, though. I’m hoping for some of those cool claws like Wolverine.’
Doctors have reported a huge increase in the numbers of people coming in to be assessed for superpowers, including a young man who thought he was mutating into the Incredible Hulk after chain-smoking a full pack of Capstan Full Strength made him turn green. Another patient thought that coughing lumps of green phlegm across the room was a superpower, and had renamed himself Marlboro Man.
‘They need to look again at the way these adverts are worded,’ said Dr Gareth Jenkins. ‘They are clearly misleading people and I dread to think where it could end. We had one guy in the other day who had been turned down for gender reassignment on the NHS and was asking what the chances were that smoking could turn him into a woman.’
Despite the warnings, and insistence from medical professionals that it is an entirely different type of genetic mutation, Simon is optimistic that he has already started to develop some new powers. ‘I went out on Saturday night with a pack of 20 cigarettes and three friends who had recently given up smoking. At the end of the night all the fags were gone despite me only having four of them, so I think I might have the power to make things disappear.’
A collaboration between VCG, Not Amused, Midfield Diamond, Beau-Jolly and Quaz
(So long, and thanks for all the fish.)