Another family values episode with a theme so clunky and repeated no one (not even the target demographic) is going to miss it. Smoking is bad for you. Cutting edge stuff - dramatic story lines, heart-breaking in its courageous expose of yet another social ill. Or maybe not so much. Ruthie was the most priggish, Kevin the stupidest, Eric the nosiest.... Gossip, insults, breaking of promises, tattling...and my favourite one-episode-only character ever, Betty, Ben's new girlfriend. This is a woman who smokes, and who defends her right to smoke. She is portrayed as a selfish and rude, but compared to all the characters in this episode, she is definitely the coolest and the most memorable. And believe it or not, her house burned down because she left a lit cigarette lying around. What a coincidence!!! Little Miss Perfect Ruthie rats smoking Peter out to his mother, and the little wimp actually thanks her for it. In any universe that I lived in, this could not happen. There are sanctomonious little prigs like Ruthie, I suppose, but nobody ever thanks them for their priggishness. They usually get beat up on the way home from school.
All this to say that the contrivance is really a little bit too much in this episode. While the premise that smoking is bad for you is a worthy one, it is so artlessly done that the average viewer's reaction would be to take up smoking instantly.