View Full Version : Are "Truth" Ads Fair?
04-09-02, 08:16 PM
For the record: I am a non-smoker.
These kids look like crusaders championing the rights of victimized smokers and fighting the big bad tobacco companies. That's great, it's a free country and you can campaign against whatever you want. However, they do it on television, a medium on which cigarette companies can't advertise their product. Cigarette companies can't respond and say, "OK, there's ammonia in our cigarettes, but it's in such a minute amount you'd have to smoke ten cartons a day to be affected over the course of your life" [I don't know that this is true, I'm just creating an example].
My beef with them is that they use bad science. They list all these chemicals (oooh, scary!) that are in cigarette smoke without saying anything about the levels. Couldn't you could take the ads and replace "cigarette smoke" with "tap water" and still be pretty truthful?
These kids could stretch any little factoid into the truth and the cigarette companies can't defend themselves. Without sliding into various discussions regarding the tobacco companies' willful lies to the public time and time again about the hazards of using their product... Is this fair? Is this legal with regards to the settlements the tobacco industries entered into with the federal government, or are they just little disinformation bastards that will be sued for more than RJ Reynolds?
A couple of the Truth ads impress me in a specific way: they are endorsing civil disobedience. Trespassing, illegal soliciting ... I also appreciated how much of prigs the kids were in the early ads. The message that I got from those ads was that modern kids have an attitude problem because they don't smoke. I had heard, once, as a rumor that I never bothered to look up, that the Truth campaign was, in fact, part of the Tobacco Industry's commitment to curb smoking among youth. Like I said, I never really bothered to follow that rumor at all, but it would explain the absolutely ridiculous nature of the campaign. Whether or not you smoke, do teenagers really enjoy being portrayed as complete assholes? Hmm ... assholes don't smoke is one way of looking at those ads. In terms of the rumor, it's kind of brilliant.
I went to the Truth.com website once upon the time; they do seek a sense of unity, asking you to put your name into a generator to get your "street name". If I recall, I was the Street Level Rump-Shaking Duck of Truth. Amazing, truly amazing ... fight smoking and get a "gangsta" name all at once. What's funny is that the Duck of Truth name is based on a false name; whenever playing with those things I submit the name of the foremost Tiassa ever known, the Brigadier of the Phoenix Guard, and you can buy the books if you haven't picked up the name from any of my posts about the word "tiassa". Hey, here's something interesting: the current website listed in the ads, http://www.infect-truth.com , leads to a website that not only marks that I have a Mac, but also bases its time stamp on my computer's clock as opposed to the real time. (I run 12 minutes fast on my primary 3 clocks, including my computer clock.) However, I love that idea: Infect Truth. To judge by their presentation of what they mean, truth is a disease.
Infections start small. They grow slowly at first, taking hold undetectably. But before you know it, the infection's taken root. It becomes a living thing with a mind all its own. It becomes unstoppable.
That's how movements start too--with little undetectable pockets that grow. If you can infect truth and spread knowledge to a couple of people a day, and maybe they infect a couple more the next day, in just two weeks almost 33,000 people could hear that message--your message. In a month, it could reach more than 4 billion ....
.... Infect truth.Wow, I really need to follow up on that rumor. Anyone? Anyone?
I, for one, would like to fly three-dozen planes at low altitude with a listing of what chemicals are in the exhaust of these airplanes. And then parade hundreds of cars down Main Street with flags explaining what noxious chemicals are in automobile exhaust.
On that note, let me single out one of the nation's biggest idiots, Rep. Henry Waxman, from somewhere in Lower California. We're talking about the guy who said that cigarettes are the number one cause of air pollution in LA county.
But we might point out that a Tobacco Industry response to the early-90s secondhand smoke tests that started the current rage against cigarettes which got little attention was the accusation of bad science. Consider the difference between rat lungs and human lungs, even in simple terms of volume. The Tobacco Industry noted that the EPA's test data indicated long-term exposure to smoke densities that ran approximately "30 times more dense" than you'll ever experience. That is, they were pumping more "secondhand smoke" into these rats than the rats would get actually smoking the cigarettes. People scoffed at their comparisons that peanut butter, orange juice, or bacon in such quantities would be unhealthy. Now, I can drink ... yeah I can drink a gallon of orange juice a day if I really, really tried. Could I drink 30? Each day? What would that do to me? How about 120 strips of bacon a day? Hmmm ... how much peanut butter do you eat each month? Could you eat that in a day? Every day?
I was sitting in a bar with a fellow who gave me the best testament against smoking I know of. A long scar along his carotid where they had to open him up and remove the nicotine buildup from the artery wall in order to save his life. Pretty moving. We have up here--it might be nationwide--a commercial where a doctor, or at least someone pretending to be one, squeezes goop out of a major vessel of a dead man's heart. I happened to see that commercial while sitting with the chap who had the nicotine-scraping. "Is that what it looked like?" I asked. He said no, and we speculated together that the actual dead man from whom the vessel was removed--and whose picture was not shown--must have been about 5'6" tall and weighed about 400 pounds with a diet of bacon and cheese doodles.
It's not that anyone is seriously going to believe that setting anything on fire and breathing it directly is going to be healthy. But if the anti-smoking groups have the "truth" on their side, what's up with the deceptive approach?
Personally, I think the Truth ads are doing more damage than good.
One last thing--I didn't go that far into the Truth site today, but the last time I did they had an e-mail list so that enraged anti-smokers could harass tobacco company executives. I picked three whose represented brands I had smoked, and e-mailed them a thank-you for their faithful service. I even recounted how they fought against sin-taxes by slashing the price of cigarettes, so that after taxes went up 75¢ a pack, cigarettes cost a nickel less than before the tax increases. (That's final total including the taxes.)
I'll stop smoking either when I decide to or when it kills me. In the meantime, I find the Truth campaign to be offensive on the one hand, and something worth cheering on the other hand. Like the airplanes over the beach commercial. They like to pretend those asterisks they put up on the screen represent people who are coming to think like they are, but I'm quite sure those people are actually thinking, What the f--k is that all about? I came out here for some peace and quiet, goddamnit!
And remember, the Truth is a disease. If only infecting each other with the truth was as fun as infecting each other with other diseases. If Truth was a sexually-transmitted disease ....
04-10-02, 08:37 AM
I might be wrong on this, but I am under the impression that the reason why cigarette companies dont avertise cigarettes anymore on television is because there's this kooky little law in the US that media has to give equal time to two sides of a political issue. So cigarette use became a "political issue" after a few protests, and a Judge (no i don't know where) ordered that television companies had to give air time to anti-smoking ads-presumably the cigarette ads were pro-smoking. So, after a while cigarette companies decided that it was worse for business to put commercials up on television than to just rely on magazine ads and word of mouth.
Incidentally, I'm also "against" smoking. I think it's unpleasant and probably the only reason why I would resort to violence is if someone lit one in my personal living space or car. However, I'm also all for the right of the american people (and anyone else for that matter-this is a fundamental human right) to kill themselves in any manner they want. Just because I choose salt and grease as my ticket to the grave doesn't mean someone else can't rip up their lungs.
On the other hand, I think pretentious people who smoke cigars and think that the smell of burning sweatsocks makes them look dignified should be drug out into the street and shot. ;)
It's what's up front that counts, the slogan of Lucky Strike cigarettes, the last cigarette advert on the airwaves. In the 1960s, it became illegal to advertise cigarettes on television. The latest settlement with the Tobacco Industry includes the funding (as it has been explained to me) for the Truth campaign, though they're apparently not responsible for the content.
But cigarette advertising is severely restricted in the United States. No TV, severe print restrictions, no more frequent-use promotions (e.g. "Camel bucks" or "Marlboro miles"), and no more sporting events (no Marlboro F1 racer allowed on American TV).
It should be noted that my beloved leather jacket was bought with Camel bucks. Funny, that ... I don't even smoke Camels.
Then again, if pot was legal, and the pretentious smoked joints instead of cigars, you might not care about the smell. Not only because it's a better smell, but because, well, it's pot smoke ... after a few minutes, you wouldn't care ;)
For the record: I AM smoker. (and tiassa also :D)
Is it crime to take a risk being a smoker and enjoy it? We know the worst risk is death.
(note: I don't smoke on public spots, er... unless smokers public).
Lets replace some words there...
Is it crime to take a risk being a mountain climber and enjoy it? We know the worst risk is drop death.
Is it crime to take a risk being a boxer and enjoy it? We know the worst risk is parkinson or death.
Is it crime to take a risk being a cop and enjoy it? We know the worst risk is shooted to death.
04-10-02, 11:23 AM
Is it a crime to entice kids to use a highly addictive deadly drug?
04-10-02, 12:33 PM
The point being...?
04-10-02, 01:06 PM
Are you sure that it's illegal? It was commonly believed that it was illegal to show ads for liquor on television too, until crown royal did it, and it came out that it was an agreement in the alcohol community to not do it. I was under the impression that it is "legal" to have cigarette ads on tv, but the "equal time" ruling made it not worth advertising.
04-10-02, 01:26 PM
I thought that in 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Fairness Doctrine applied to cigarettes -- granting anti-smoking forces "equal time" on the air to reply to tobacco commercials. That same year, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to ban cigarette ads on TV and radio. As Congress debated the issue, tobacco companies and certain members of the Senate held independent discussions in which cigarette advertisers, in order to stave off controls on the sale of cigarettes, agreed to stop advertising them on the air.
However, information on the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 (http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/overview/regulate.htm) from the CDC website says differently. So does U.S. Code, Title 15, Section1335 (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/15/chapters/36/sections/section_1335.html).
Gotta learn something new every day. :D
--- Edit: add links ---
Originally posted by ImaHamster2
Is it a crime to entice kids to use a highly addictive deadly drug?
Perhaps, for kid.
But not for adult. And they should keep to add warning note on it.
So... Cigar, liquor, and condom, etc adv should only shown at adult hours
04-11-02, 10:29 AM
Will these kids soon be starting in on others who add addictive substances to their products? Coca-Cola? Pepsi, Starbucks?
According to the logic that the 'added addictives' argument uses, I should sue Coca-Cola and my local espresso vendor for not having some massive label on their product telling me that caffeine is addictive, can lead to sleep deprivation, and occasionally induces some rather odd behavior. I was a caffeine addict, slamming back a 12 pack of 12 oz. cans, and an espresso around lunch, plus coffee with friends several nights a week. These corporations were putting an addictive substance in their beverages and not telling me, so they are evil and should be stopped before I hurt myself further.
I have issues with Truth Ads, they use a stronger form of propaganda than cigarette advertisers use, they harass people at their workplace (seen the one where they walk around the office building?), and infringe on ones basic right as a sentient being to destroy oneself.
04-11-02, 03:54 PM
Is caffeine as addictive as nicotine and alcohol? Does the use of caffeine cause a substantial health risk as do the use of nicotine and the excessive use of alcohol? Does the use of caffeine endanger other people, as does the excessive use of alcohol?
If the answer is “yes” then this hamster would recommend curbs on the use of caffeine as an additive and restrictions on advertising that encourage more use of caffeine products. Adults would still be allowed to purchase and use caffeine products but would be held liable for harm done to others while under the “caffeine influence”. People would not be allowed to spread their caffeine into the air and water used by others.
The implementation of these restrictions would hopefully balance the rights of the users with the rights of the abstainers while taking into account local customs and reasonable exceptions. (E.g. a waitress could not sue for “second hand caffeine” damages after choosing to work in a “coffee” bar. Nor could a child sue a parent for consuming caffeine during pregnancy.)
As for the “truth” ads…this hamster doesn’t support exaggeration or distortion to “prove” points or encourage “proper” behavior.
I noted the demise of frequent-use redemption programs for cigarette companies--e.g. Camel bucks and Marlboro miles.
However, I'm quite amused, and well approve of a gimmick being run by the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, makers of my favorite brand, Natural American Spirit (http://www.nascigs.com/). By the way, I do recommend the website. It is, in fact, quite cool. And, on my OmniWeb browser, the first thing to appear on my screen is the Surgeon General's warning, and the second is a disclaimer that "No additives does NOT mean a safer cigarette". I appreciate the up-front presentation. There is also age verification (21+ only, please). But it's a cool website, nonetheless. At least, the Flash site is cool.
Nonetheless, Natural American Spirit does have a product gimmick that leaves the rest of the tobacco industry and, probably, Congress, absolutely flat.
No redemption. Just trading cards. They get nothing out of it but our sheer amusement. Well, the history of "pack stiffener" cards goes back over a century, but nobody else has these really cool trading cards.
Now, don't get your morals in a bunch. I swear to you that kids won't actually like these.
•*The first sets were from American history: old daguerreotypes and photos, reprints of various designs ... in this case, can you imagine your kid saying, "I'll trade you my Bat Masterson for your Gibson Pickup Patent Drawing" or, "My Hydrogen Bomb for your Zipper", or "My vacuum cleaner for your pantyhose" (yes, there was a trading card for nylons).
• Subsequent sets have been of endangered species. And again, I just don't see your average kid saying, "I'll trade a Verreaux's Sifaka for your Cape Pangolin".
But I do think it's quite hilarious that these cards come with every pack of cigarettes. I can't keep track of them, and use them generally for scraping kif out of my stash box.
But I think American Spirit could well be the proper and conceptual revenge of the tobacco industry. They make a great smoke, incited Winston to go additive-free, and found a way to keep us amused despite being unable to redeem 600 Verreaux's Sifaka cards for a leather jacket.
Ooh, I'll trade my Fiji banded iguana for a Douc Langur monkey.
But regardless of what the government does, they can't do anything to fix the situation short of making tobacco illegal. Of course, do we really want to bolster the ranks of those upon whom the War on Drugs was declared? What would happen if, overnight, you declared war on all the tobacco users the way they have the pot smokers?
I've always pointed out that one of the problems of breaking drug addiction (e.g. heroin, cocaine) is that you have to admit to felonious behavior. Nobody wants to admit it, no matter how apparent it is. Heck, Darryl Strawberry's rehab counselor, upon learning by his confession that he'd done some coke, called the police out to the facility to arrest him. The first round of editorials said, "See, kids? See what happens?" The second round absolutely blasted the facility for making recovery that much harder for addicts. When you can't even trust the people who are allegedly there to help?
But yeah, that's what it's going to have to look like in order to utterly try and fail to break this country of its cigarette habits. Midnight raids, shooting the wrong person, throwing civil and human rights out the window. And when it's no longer that pot-smoking minority leading the defensive front, and when it's all the cigarette smokers ... well, I think we see the problem.
I'm a pot smoker. My government has declared war against me. I am also a cigarette smoker. Make cigarettes part of that war already declared against me, and you will bolster my ranks at least tenfold.
But I do admit that the Truth ads generally don't work. There's nothing in those ads I didn't know before, and yelling and sneering and being rude about it doesn't help the situation at all. I don't think anything short of biological warfare will work.
Or, you could legalize marijuana and have the tobacco farmers roll into the new crop next year.
My point is, though, that no laws and no amount of bad advertising is going to fix the situation. I'll quit when I quit, whether it's next month, next year, or when I die.
In the meantime, if you don't leave me in peace while I smoke, I'll just light another when I'm done with this one.
In fact ... I feel like a smoke right now.
***** tha girl
11-28-06, 12:04 PM
ok for the record im a non smoker who is completly for the truth ads bc they serve a purpose...and that purpose might not enable the cigarette compaines to retaliate but you know why should they...all they are doing is telling the truth about one of the most common causes of death in the world...and your not to say what they can and cannot put on the television...they spend their money on it and they take thier time...they call and they research everthing that is on every commercial and you know you can say they are lying...well if they are then they are commiting a crime called false advertisment..ok so they would be allowed to do shit if that was the case...:bugeye:...so i know for a fact that its is factual information only a dumbass who think otherwise...and the smokers you can get over yourselves trust me it isnt all it is hyped up to me...so i dont realle care...let em do what they wanna do and say what they wanna say...and the tobacco compaines deserve to get shit they have ruined families and lives for that matter bc of the deadly drugs they put out in the world
***interesting fact:D MELLOW YELLOW is 3 ingredients away from antifreeze...suck on that
People have now known for years that cigarettes aren't good for your health. At what point do we have to say that smokers are responsible for their own choices? Nobody held them down and forced a cigarette into their mouths. They chose to do it, whether they gave in to that most convenient of excuses, "peer pressure", or if they were just puss-bags who let some slick advertiser convince them that sucking on anything is sexy or macho. If you've let yourself believe that what others think about you is worth dying for, then maybe you deserve it.
So, how 'bout it? Why do you smoke? Why did you even start, given the glaring evidence waved in front of our faces on a daily basis about how terrible it is for you? If someone from the tobacco industry didn't come up to you personally and shove the thing into your mouth, light it and make you smoke it, you have no one to blame, or sue, but yourself.
I don't smoke, but I respect the rights of those who do. I think they've made enough concessions in public areas for non-smokers (at least, here in the US). I don't buy the second-hand smoke thing, and if someone's smoke is bothering me, I have no trouble being polite and asking them if they'd put it out. If they get rude, then I react to their behavior, not their smoking.Most smokers, however, I find are polite enough to ask before lighting up if anybody minds. Too bad those so-called "truth" ads ignore the truth of the matter in that respect. (I can't stand those things. "Propaganda that looks like propaganda is bad propaganda.")
04-08-09, 10:38 PM
Just bc there is some truth does not mean its 100% true. They stretch the truth so much that I don't believe them at all and I think they should be taken off the air, it called 'FEARMONGING' using Scare tactics to make people to think like them, besides they are SOOOO STUPID. They say 1200 die each day from smoking well I read on the net that about 6800 die each day from non-smoking that's 85%, they just tell you about the 1200 to make look like alot that smoking is an killer when its only 15% a small fraction. I like to find away to get them off TV.:mad::mad::confused:
So I'm supposed to be sympathetic about your "right" to be a drug addict?
04-14-09, 04:00 AM
They say 1200 die each day from smoking well I read on the net that about 6800 die each day from non-smoking that's 85%, they just tell you about the 1200 to make look like alot that smoking is an killer when its only 15% a small fraction. I like to find away to get them off TV.
Well, if you asked how those 1200 died, it would be smoking related diseases, right? One thing to watch out for are broad, multifactorial umbrellas in which a number of diseases could fall under. How many of those people died of heart disease? Is heart disease restricted to smokers?
How many died of cancer? Is cancer restricted to smokers? What kind of cancer was it? Was it really CAUSED by smoking, antagonized by smoking, or merely a coincidental relationship in which a person was identified as either being a current or past smoker, and a link was made simply by that association?
Statistics can be bandied about, but can be misleading. Some of those statistics may actually be extrapolations, aided by computer models or what have you. Some of those statistics may have rather significant discrepancies in numbers, depending on which public health or medical entity has compiled and released them.
You may well hear about smoking-related or smoking-caused deaths, but the numbers presented, are, in my opinion, to be taken with perhaps a grain of salt. Why?
Many European countries have equal to or higher average rates of smoking as compared to the US, but longer life-expectancy and lower smoking-related disease rates. Japan, if I remember correctly, has a smoking rate of almost double that of the US (and I am going to guess that by "rate" that means overall persons who smoke), but one of the longest average life-spans of any nation in the world. One would think, given how horrible tobacco supposedly is, that a country with nearly double the amount of cigarette smokers would see a definite decrease in life-expectancy. However, in Japan, the rates of lung-cancer, indisputably one of the few diseases that could realistically be considered mostly attributable to smoking, are nearly half of what they are in the United States.
France has a roughly 50% higher rate of smoking than the United States, but approximately 20% fewer deaths from lung-cancer, and again, a longer life-expectancy.
Clearly smoking isn't the only thing at work.
Some other cofactors that have been considered are nutrition and lifestyle as well as additives in the tobacco itself. It has been posited that modest amounts of more natural or organic tobacco has far fewer consequences than pesticide-laden, processed tobacco.
As far as that stupid "truth" add with the rat that comes up out of the subway and dies holding a sign (like rats ever get that big or would die holding a sign about tobacco!!! :) ) yes, I'm sure tobacco has arsenic. I also know that one member of the garlic family (allium), that culinary favorite known as chives, also contains significantly higher levels of arsenic than most plants, last time I checked. It's a fairly harmless "organic" form that in small amounts isn't going to do much harm. At least I'VE not recently heard about chive poisoning...
In all of this propaganda, you almost never hear about the effects of nutrition, exercise and other daily habits, stress levels, or type of tobacco smoked. You also almost never hear about perhaps the most important thing of all when talking about long-term toxicity of any ingested product: quantity!!! Why is one or two cigarettes considered no better than one or two packs? Depending on the country, a very small percentage of smokers actually get and die of lung cancer, and many of those diagnosed are longterm smokers in the 40+ age range. Why is quantity consumed not ever studied, or if it is, isn't discussed? You always just hear something like '1 a day or a pack a day, you're gonna die anyway' (that kind of rhymed :p).
My uncle was a smoker. He died at 74 (or was it 75?) of emphysema and other complications surrounding his condition. He also smoked an average of 2 packs a day for around 30+ years. I heard he used to hit 3 packs a day sometimes. He also didn't have what I would consider an ideal dietary regimen. In fact, that would probably be putting it mildly.
So, how does his example necessarily compare to the outlook of someone who rather than 2 packs a day, averages maybe two cigarettes a day, has a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and functional foods (like herbs, teas, the like), and maybe quits smoking twice as early? Should that person be just as concerned about becoming a poster child for the anti-smoking campaign?
I had another uncle who was also a heavy smoker, and made it past 80 only to die of a heart attack, not completely something to be solely blamed, if at all, on tobacco use.
Then there's the stories of lung or throat cancer at a shockingly young age, and they do make for a good cautionary tale, or a great scare tactic, but statistically it would seem to me that those are rather extraordinary and anomalous cases, and not what one should ever expect to be an average outcome. Perhaps like some of those great get-rich-quick infomercials, or that one commercial about that pill: you know, that pill that makes a man larger. (I'm rolling my eyes...)
Just my $200.02!
******* whoa! had no idea this thread was as old as it is.
04-14-09, 04:39 AM
I noted the demise of frequent-use redemption programs for cigarette companies--e.g. Camel bucks and Marlboro miles.
However, I'm quite amused, and well approve of a gimmick being run by the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, makers of my favorite brand, Natural American Spirit (http://www.nascigs.com/).
I smoke American Spirits as well. I did in the past, and then went to some cheaper brands, and rolled on and off with various tobaccos, including American Spirit, and now I just buy them in the blue pack. I recently bummed a Marlboro from someone at work, and they just don't taste right. Most cigarettes don't. They taste unusually harsh and seem a little stale.