Drug Company to Put Up Giant Cigarette Butt in Dilworth Park Friday

In order to promote two of its smoking cessation drugs, GlaxoSmithKline will erect a 20-foot cigarette in Philly's newest public park.

Dilworth Park Cigarette Butt (photo illustration)

Photo Illustration, obviously

Every Philadelphian who has passed through the new Dilworth Park since its opening has come away with the same thought: This place could really use a 20-foot-tall cigarette butt.

Stop holding your breath and let out that last drag, Philadelphians: On Friday, GlaxoSmithKline will erect a 20-foot-tall cigarette butt in order to promote their Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ smoking cessation drugs. Hey, Dilworth Park wasn’t cheap.

The event will take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. And, to make this mashup of a drug company and a public park even better, Dancing with the Stars’ Mark Ballas — a paid GSK spokesman — will make an appearance to encourage people to quit smoking. Sure, why not? He quit smoking a year ago.

People who agree to quit can get free Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ at Friday’s event. Last year, GSK put up the giant cigarette in Chicago. Like Philadelphia’s recent $2-a-pack tax increase, Chicago had recently raised taxes on cigarettes by 50 cents. Unlike Philadelphia’s cigarette tax — done as an emergency measure to fund public schools — Chicago’s was primarily pitched as a health measure.

“The decision to quit smoking is an empowering moment, but it’s also one of the most difficult things a smoker can do,” GSK’s Lisa Maxwell Anekwe said in a statement. “We want to help every smoker in his or her effort to quit by providing tools and resources, like Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ, which have helped millions of smokers all over the world.”

We can only hope the giant cigarette butt will line up with both the Clothespin and the City Hall tower. That way, it will not just be a drug company product ad and a smoking-cessation rally, but a performance art piece as well.