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The Truth (dot com)

By Wah in Op-Ed
Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:41:58 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I've seen enough of these Truth.com commercials to know that a large number of my tax dollars have gone toward making them and buying the airtime on which they are played. To be blunt, they offend me. Not because they are a rehash of the "your brain on drugs is a smashed egg" type fear tactics, but because they encourage kids to smoke.


The Truth.com is essentially a marketing gimmick to round up the next generation of smokers in America, and I think it should stop.

As a smoker, there is a certain cultural element wrapped up in the habit. It is a sign of rebellion, a sign of independance. A sign of all that is wrong with society. Plus, it's a cool way to meet chicks.

TheTruth.com is trying to change that. But the truth is that you can't do that. Think about it for a second. The seeming overwhelming public opinion becomes that cigarettes are bad and evil. But another one of the cultural trends in America is that the teenage years are one of rebellion and independence. This has become acceptable behaviour and is expected. All of which works help sell a product to a particular demographic. A product shown to be highly addictive, regardless of marketing.

Smoking is another part of life. Nicotine is a drug, and it provides a positive (and negative) affect like many others. Heck, I even drew a picture about my particular experience with the habit. If we as a country wish to minimize its effects, I propose that a more logical solution would be not to talk about it as much. They can keep the website, and what not, but do we really want to fund such an expensive commercial campaign for an industry that has abused our system? I guess that about cover most of the rant. The true penalty for tobacco companies would have been to shut them up totally. Now we have these commercials (aimed at the young) and the other "we're swell, caring mutli-national corporation" commercials (aimed at the stock holders). Rant back (and the preview doesn't seem to be working, so I'll fix this if there's problems)

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Poll
Smoker?
o Yes 14%
o No 53%
o Did, but quit 7%
o Say I don't but do 1%
o Pot only, thanks 16%
o You can't beat $3 crack!! 4%

Votes: 263
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Truth.com
o The Truth.com
o drew a picture
o Also by Wah


Display: Sort:
The Truth (dot com) | 96 comments (93 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
Shhhh!!! (2.84 / 13) (#1)
by Solaarius on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 09:03:09 PM EST

I know! Let's pretend it doesn't exist! That way it'll just go away!

Seriously, teens need to be aware of the downsides to smoking, as well as the (??)benefits.

An interesting solution can be found in Canada. Like you suggest, advertising for cigarettes is illegal(not sure about the US). Tobacco companies are forced to "sponsor" events like racing just to get their name out there.

Conversely, the govenment sponsors an "awareness campaign" that lists some all-too-cliche statistics that we all know. Of course we wouldn't know about them if it weren't from the campaign.

As a result of this "media monopoly", people make informed decisions (at least theoretically) about smoking.

I don't think my status as a smoker or non-smoker is relevant, but it's Did, but Don't.

Of course, that's just my skewed view of the world...
----

"The Age was called Dark not because there was no Light, but rather because the People refused to see It."

Re: Shhhh!!! (3.20 / 5) (#25)
by Alarmist on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 10:19:00 AM EST

An interesting solution can be found in Canada. Like you suggest, advertising for cigarettes is illegal(not sure about the US).

Cigarette companies are barred from using clothing, magazines, billboards, radio and television to advertise. I know, because back when I used to watch TV, Philip Morris would run a PSA talking about the tobacco settlement and what forms of advertising they weren't allowed to indulge in. It's priceless, really: "Here's an ad talking about all the ways we can't market our product to you." It lends cigarettes an aura of mystery that they might not otherwise have.

If the government is going to get annoyed enough to spank Philip Morris with a 78 billion dollar penalty, can't they at least say, "Hey, everybody knows you can't run your stinking ads anymore. Shut up about it, will ya?"

Fight the Power.


[ Parent ]

Not Your Tax Dollars (3.30 / 13) (#2)
by Carnage4Life on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 09:09:26 PM EST

The advertising campaigns being created by TheTruth.com aren't being financed by your tax dollars. They are paid for out of the multi-billion dollar tobacco settlement.

If you don't believe me check out item 2 on thier FAQ.

Frankly, even though I smoke, I believe that theTruth.com is merely playing a game of turnabout with an industry that has used similar manipulative means to ensnare teens in the past.

Re: Not Your Tax Dollars (2.50 / 6) (#3)
by Wah on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 09:30:11 PM EST

but aren't those dollars that we won from the tobacco companies? Who pays the governments lawyers?
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]
Re: Not Your Tax Dollars (3.40 / 5) (#9)
by tmalone on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 11:12:05 PM EST

The ads are sponsered by the American Legacy Foundation. It was setup after the settlement to fund anti-smoking campaigns. Part of the settlement is that the tobacco companies must pay 1 and a half billion dollars over five years to fund public education about the health risks associated with tobacco. The settlement did say the ads weren't allowed to vilify the companies are people involved with them, which I think most would agree the ads come close to (if not blatantly) doing. There is some more information in this transcript: http://www.tobaccofreedom.org/msa/articles/truth_campaign/npr.html Tim

[ Parent ]
Re: Not Your Tax Dollars (2.80 / 5) (#40)
by interiot on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 01:59:45 PM EST

It doesn't matter where it came from. The money could have been used for Medicare and other government programs, lowering the amount of taxes that the average taxpayer would have had to pay. But they chose not to do that, and as a result, taxpayers have to pay more than they would have and a lot of money was spent on an ad campaign. That effectively means that taxpayers partially funded the ad campaign.

The only way truth.com could honestly claim what they did is if receiving-money-from-tobacco-companies was conditional on spending-money-on-ad-campaign. But it wasn't-- the government got the settlement money no matter what.

(sorry for the horrible explanation, I'm not an economist or an english major)

[ Parent ]

Agreed (2.69 / 13) (#5)
by Zach Garner on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 10:04:01 PM EST

I dont have much to say, except that I agree. I've never smoked a cigarette in my life (i'm 20 now), but seeing those commercials make me want to pick up the habit. I HATE over-manipulative advertising, and the ``truth'' commercials are the worst

Re: Agreed (1.50 / 2) (#51)
by Dolphineus on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 04:06:13 PM EST

I'm curious how seeing a commercial stating how cigarettes kill 400,000 people a year would want to make you smoke. Or how cigarettes containing 100 more poisons than rat poison would make you want to smoke. Or am I the only one?

[ Parent ]
Re: Agreed (2.00 / 2) (#66)
by Colonol_Panic on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:00:29 PM EST

I had a similar reaction to the Truth campaign to Zach's. It not really a matter of them telling people it's bad; it's the fact that they are playing these commercials over and over and over until I almost want to pick up the habit just to spite them. There's nothing wrong with telling people something is bad, but beating them over the head with your opinion ad nauseum is another matter.
Here's my DeCSS mirror. Where's Yours?
[ Parent ]
Call me old fashioned... (2.50 / 12) (#6)
by skim123 on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 10:17:52 PM EST

Should the government spend money on anti-smoking commercials (or force cig. comapanies to do so)? Nah. Should tobacco companies be able to advertise? Sure, so long as they don't use false advertising (like saying, "Nicotine is not addictive"). But wait! What about all those kids who will start smoking? Well, that's the parent's place, to talk to their kids (yes, the TV can be turned off, the computer too) and warn them about the negatives of smoking.

With such an open dialog between parents and children (in this and other areas), children will have high self-esteems and not feel preasure to fall into peer groups that encourage smoking. Once the child turns 18, let him/her decide if smoking is right for them.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Re: Call me old fashioned... (3.00 / 5) (#7)
by Knile87 on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 10:41:22 PM EST

Well, that's the parent's place, to talk to their kids...
That's why I respect Anheuser-Busch as a company. They've taken the initiative to encourage parents to speak openly with kids, as young as 11, about teen drinking. Look in Newsweek or any pretty major media magazine, you'll see a pic of Little Suzie on her bed with mom sitting next to her.
Kudos to the brewery. Philip-Morris, I hope you're taking notes.

"We're all on a big ship! We're on a big cruise, across the world!" -- Iowa Bob, in Hotel New Hampshire


[ Parent ]
Re: Call me old fashioned... (3.40 / 5) (#22)
by skim123 on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 04:02:47 AM EST

<< Well, that's the parent's place, to talk to their kids... >>
That's why I respect Anheuser-Busch as a company

But my question is why should parents need to be told (via TV) that they need to talk to their kids? I dunno, it just seems like a sad commentary when people have to turn to television commercials (or magazine ads) to pick up parenting tips.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Re: Call me old fashioned... (2.75 / 4) (#38)
by knightphall on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 01:18:34 PM EST

>But my question is why should parents need to be told (via TV) that they need to talk
> to their kids? I dunno, it just seems like a sad commentary when people have to turn
> to television commercials (or magazine ads) to pick up parenting tips.


Hey, take it where you can get it. It's better than nothing at all, and most parents I've seen don't know nearly enough about parenting. They need to learn somewhere, and while I agree that it's a sad state of affairs when parents need TV tips, I don't see how ads for better parenting are a bad thing in and of themselves.


-- To most people solutions mean finding the answers.
But to chemists solutions are things that are still all mixed up.

[ Parent ]
Re: Call me old fashioned... (1.50 / 2) (#67)
by skim123 on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:39:21 PM EST

I don't see how ads for better parenting are a bad thing in and of themselves

Nor do I. Just seems kinda funny (and sad) that parents today are getting tips during breaks of their favorite Thursday night sitcoms.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Re: Call me old fashioned... (3.60 / 5) (#37)
by TCaptain on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 01:10:45 PM EST

While I'm tempted to agree with your point, upon reflection I have to disagree on two points. You say:

Should tobacco companies be able to advertise? Sure, so long as they don't use false advertising (like saying, "Nicotine is not addictive")

My question and concern is this, don't you notice that while its illegal to use "false" advertising, wouldn't you agree that MOST (if not ALL) marketting companies really play fast and loose with the truth? I think so, and the problem is that many young kids WILL fall for the deception, because like it as not, the average pre-teen/early teen does not have the education and life-experience to apply good critical thinking skills when faced with the kind of media blitz marketting companies put out these days (Hell, in my opinion, I don't believe most ADULTS have those kind of skills).

Now where are the parents in this situation you say? Well, first off, are the parents any wiser than the child in this case? (See my opinion above *g*) Also, the trend is that a lot parents increasingly do not put the effort into raising their children and communicating with them about what's right and what's wrong and as such there is an increasing amount of noise towards the powers that be to censor information available (that way individual parents won't have to deal with it themselves).

If you take those two points in consideration (and I realize many may not agree, I'm just making an assumption for the sake of my discourse), it all adds up to more and more kids starting to smoke, seduced by cigarette ads, unguided by absentee parents who, by the time they realize that it's not the cool thing they thought it was, end up smoking a pack a day and are too addicted to quit.


Hello, my name is PID 12759. You "kill -9"ed my parent. Prepare to die. - ENOENT


[ Parent ]
Re: Call me old fashioned... (3.33 / 3) (#48)
by terran on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 03:25:55 PM EST

pre-teen/early teen does not have the education and life-experience to apply good critical thinking skills when faced with the kind of media blitz marketting companies put out these days (Hell, in my opinion, I don't believe most ADULTS have those kind of skills).
I agree with your premise, but I believe that the conclusions you draw from it are flawed.

If I understand correctly, you argue as follows:

  • Most children are insufficiently rational and mentally advanced to resist persuasion by "media blitz" advertising.
  • Most adults have this same lack of ability, and therefore they cannot assist their children.
  • It is therefore useful and correct for the government to provide "counter-advertising" to reduce or reverse the effect of the companies' advertising

I assume that you support the government's anti-tobacco advertising because you agree with it, that smoking is bad. This is arguably somewhat short-sighted. This time, on the smoking issue, the government took a stance with which you happened to agree. What will happen next time, on the next issue?

To answer this question, let us consider how the government offices are iflled. As a gross simplification, it is elected by adults. As one of our premises, most adults are insufficiently rational to resist "media blitz" advertising. I think it would be difficult to claim that political campaigns do not involve media blitz. Thus, politicans are elected mostly by adults who do not have the rational capcities to distinguish truth from fiction in their campaigns. This isn't looking good.

Let us suppose, therefore, that the politicans who get elected are the ones with the best advertising; this seems quite probable to me on the basis of the above, although of course I cannot conclusive prove it to be the case. Now, it happens, as I said, that in this case a government consisting of those with the best advertising happened to agree with you about smoking. Is there really any reason to believe that they'll agree with you about other issues? What about a huge ad campaign villainizing everyone who uses cryptography as terrorists? (Keep your country safe. Just say NO to PGP.) We've already seen advertising campaigns trying to get children to turn each other in for "suspicious behaviour"(although the extent of government involvement with this is not immediately clear). If we look at all government action instead of just advertising campaigns, I rather doubt that the majority of people here support the DMCA, the DeCSS verdict outlawing linking, or the degeneration of our judicial system to the point where corporations can get just about anything they want because individuals, even when right, can't afford the legal bills. You may (or may not; geeks generally seem divided on the issue) also take offense to the grevious violations of the Second Ammendment by our government who wants to disarm its citizens.

I happen to agree that smoking is bad. Smoke makes me cough and feel ill, and if nobody smoked in public, I wouldn't have to deal with their smoke. However, I believe that the long term effects of a government "cure" for problems like this are worse than the problem they are trying to solve. I am 100% convinced that the government of this country (of, by, and for the advertisers) fully intends to attack other things that I do support in the future, just as it has done in the past.

Let's suppose the government succeeds at stamping out smoking. Let's say they even do some more things that I would consider desirable, such as reducing pollution and providing cleaner energy. Let's say they also ban cryptography (of course, anyone with a legitimate need for cryptography can always get a government permit. We're only hurting the criminals here) and force all ISPs to filter their content. I don't consider it a win. I would rather that other people do things I don't like, and I be allowed to do things they don't like.

Of course, it would be great if the government agreed with me on everything, and fought only the things I didn't like. I don't think that's going to happen, however. Even if I give myself the benefit of the doubt and assume that all of my views are the only possible rational ones, we've already established that the government is elected mostly be people who aren't rational. Thus, at least as long as the governmen retains its present form, it seems likely that there are going to be issues where my views differ from those of the government. I'd prefer that the government keep its views to itself.

[ Parent ]

Re: Call me old fashioned... (2.00 / 2) (#68)
by skim123 on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:44:21 PM EST

I don't want the government to decide what ads **I** am capable of viewing and what ads I am not capable. I am a rational being and can make my own decisions of what is true and what is false (say a beer commercial where there are scantily clad women romping around... I know the advertiser wants me to think beer == bikini-clad supermodels, but I know that it does not)

wouldn't you agree that MOST (if not ALL) marketting companies really play fast and loose with the truth?

Sure, I'd agree to this, and I'd agree that politicians do the same, and my next door neighbor, and my myself, my professors, etc. Did you see that fish I caught the other day... it was thisssssssssss big.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Smoking is a major "geek" habit (3.09 / 11) (#10)
by dialt0ne on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 11:42:46 PM EST

I personally don't smoke, but most 'stress-filled' workstyles definately weave into the fabric of the 'coolness' of smoking. Puffing away majestically after making the killer trade. Smoking slowly, methodically while you mind races debugging a problem in real-time when the entire business is at stake. The smoke rising from Rachel's face as she defiantly questions: "Are these questions testing whether I'm a replicant or a lesbian, Mr. Deckard?"

It's not only built into american culture, but it's also built into geek culture. And it gets worse because geek culture is very polarized on it. There is the health-nut, never-drinks geek who would walk over and put out a butt if someone lit up. Then there is the avid smoker, who lights up in the middle of the data center, in defiance to the amount of harm it can cause to equipment.

I think that something MUST be done to put down all these images glorifying smoking. Maybe thetruth.com commercials aren't too effective, but I think it's better than sitting on your duff and letting it "go away by itself". Unfortunately there is a fine line between what is a negative ad campaign and what censors will allow on TV.



Smoking is Geek? Check out the poll (3.00 / 4) (#26)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 10:41:45 AM EST

Not that a K5 poll should be understood as any sort of formal scientific study, but assuming that most k5 dwellers fit the geek category and given that at 113 votes into the poll non-smokers (don't smoke or did smoke and quit) total to 70%, I don't think that there is a whole lot of room to say that smoking is a geek thing.

If anything my geek friends are less likely to smoke than any other category I can think of (unless you categorize by smoking/non-smoking ). For the record I used to smoke, but I quit before I turned into a geek.

[ Parent ]

Re: Smoking is Geek? Check out the poll (2.25 / 4) (#29)
by spiralx on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:49:19 AM EST

That's funny, because at the last place I worked out of about a dozen of us only three didn't smoke, whereas at this place it's pretty much the other way around. Most people I know smoke, including those that could be called "geeks". I don't think there's a causal link between the two.


You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

ohhh, this will stir up some discussion.... (2.70 / 10) (#11)
by argent on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 11:46:37 PM EST

I like this. Hell, if you cigarette smokers think you are a pariah, try lighting up a cigar somewhere. Wherever you are, the locals will break out the tar and feathers post-haste. And they will be joined by the cigarette smokers as well. All and all, I kinda dig the truth.com ads, then again, I was raised on the "scared straight" anti-crime campaign.
cd /pub more Beer
where the money's from (2.30 / 13) (#12)
by 31: on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 11:47:56 PM EST

I've been rather offended by these ads too... for both the encouragement to smoke (at least that it has for friends who are quitting), and for the incredible personal attacks involved... hoping the execs get thrown on the street? a bit much...
Anyhow, funding comes from the tobacco settlement, there was a part specifically for this, and the ads were by and large designed by teenagers... apparently by teens with absolutely no sense of perspective...
But welcome to the year 2000... you no longer have the choice to mess up your own life...

-Patrick
nothing wrong with gaspers (1.60 / 10) (#13)
by madams on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 11:54:18 PM EST

That is, smoking can be cool, if you treat it as a social event and not as a habit. I've never absolutely needed a cigarette, but I have had the urge to smoke one. The difference is that if you want to have a smoke you do it with other people. But I'm never suckin' on one by myself. I mean, what's the point?

--
Mark Adams
"But pay no attention to anonymous charges, for they are a bad precedent and are not worthy of our age." - Trajan's reply to Pliny the Younger, 112 A.D.

Social smokers are lame (3.40 / 5) (#30)
by spiralx on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:52:13 AM EST

That is, smoking can be cool, if you treat it as a social event and not as a habit.

Sorry, but people that smoke when they're out to look "cool" are the biggest wankers of the lot. They don't have the excuse of being addicted, they're just doing it to capitalise on the image that the advertisers want you to believe.

Nobody I've met who actually smokes thinks that it's glamorous or cool.


You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Re: Social smokers are lame (2.16 / 6) (#32)
by davidduncanscott on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 12:13:37 PM EST

Nobody I've met who actually smokes thinks that it's glamorous or cool.

Well, of course not, not since I quit.

[ Parent ]

Re: nothing wrong with gaspers (2.50 / 4) (#34)
by runyan on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 12:52:28 PM EST

Unlike the majority of 'social drinkers', social
smokers are facing the possibility of addiction.
Also, strange as it may sound, it is perfectly possible
to join a group of smokers and talk to them without
having to join them. The side-effects, of course,
are the second-hand smoke and the smell on your
clothes, but if you were willing to smoke, you
weren't worried about those issues anyway.


[ Parent ]
Get Your Facts Straight (1.60 / 10) (#14)
by simdan on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 12:06:23 AM EST

I thought these ads were funded by the tabacco compainies due to the court settlement. I hardly see how smoking is cool from these 'ads'.

This article has TOO many flaws. (4.19 / 21) (#15)
by TheLocust on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 12:14:47 AM EST

STRIKE ONE:

"I've seen enough of these Truth.com commercials to know that a large number of my tax dollars have gone toward making them and buying the airtime on which they are played. To be blunt, they offend me. Not because they are a rehash of the "your brain on drugs is a smashed egg" type fear tactics, but because they encourage kids to smoke. "

First off, the truth.com campaign is being funded SOLELY by the tobacco companies, in accordance with the tobacco settlement. ALL of their funding comes from that settlement. See this link, specifically question #2.

STRIKE TWO:

"TheTruth.com is trying to change that. But the truth is that you can't do that. Think about it for a second. The seeming overwhelming public opinion becomes that cigarettes are bad and evil."

Seeming? I think not. The public opinion DOES show that. Check out these numbers from Gallup.

STRIKE THREE:

"If we as a country wish to minimize its effects, I propose that a more logical solution would be not to talk about it as much."

Not talk about it as much?! The last fifty years no one talked about it. The adults in this country finally woke up to the fact that smoking IS bad for your health, and when the tobacco companies where faced with that fact, they pointed their ads (not allegedly pointed, I might add, but DID) at the younger, more impressionable, more IGNORANT section of society. Kids.

I voted this article down for obvious reasons. The truth campaign has been the most successful non-smoking campaign ever. It has had more press in the last half of this year than ANY effort. The ads may be shocking, but they get a point across. And to insinuate that this is going to "round up" the next generation of smokers, I think that you are sorely wrong. So, until you PROVE to me otherwise, rather than attempting to foist your opinions upon us as FACT, then I will continue to vote down your baseless drivel.
.......o- thelocust -o.........
ignorant people speak of people
average people speak of events
great people speak of ideas

Re: This article has TOO many flaws. (3.20 / 5) (#18)
by Wah on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 02:16:00 AM EST

Strike One (or a foul tip)

The court action was done by the government on behalf of its citizens. We won. It not direct tax dollars, but I think the theory holds. These are, in effect, public dollars being spent. Unless your argument goes deeper than that.

Strike Two (a.k.a. my point)

By building up not smoking as a cultural norm, you encourage those that wish to break that norm to smoke. I'm just not a big fan of fear tactics, especially when targeted at teenagers. I think that defeats the purpose of the campaign.

Strike Three

I don't feel it is the government's place to influence behaviour in this fashion. I don't like the means in otherwords, because I think they are self-defeating. And expensive. The first time this thing started percolating in my mind was when I hadn't had a smoke for a few days, saw a commercial for them (err, against them), and felt like having a cigarette.

One person's baseless drivel, is another person's rant but I appreciate the constructive criticism regardless.

--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]
Re: This article has TOO many flaws. (3.00 / 5) (#20)
by cthulhu on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 02:44:49 AM EST

The court action was done by the government on behalf of its citizens. We won. It not direct tax dollars, but I think the theory holds. These are, in effect, public dollars being spent. Unless your argument goes deeper than that.

It would be naive to equate tax dollars to a settlement in a civil case. As an economic entity, the funding originates back to the specific companies that have been held liable in these cases.

The funding for these companies comes from normal operations, which primarily consist of revenue from sales. However, many are large conglomerates such as Phillip Morris. It is the customers of these companies who are ultimately "footing the bill." As a suggestion to those who don't want to be involved with these companies, don't purchase their products. But, you better leave the Cool Whip and Jello alone, and forget about Kraft Mac & Cheese.



[ Parent ]
Re: This article has TOO many flaws. (3.00 / 4) (#23)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 07:39:48 AM EST

The court action was done by the government on behalf of its citizens. We won. It not direct tax dollars, but I think the theory holds. These are, in effect, public dollars being spent.

Contrary to popular belief, the winnings from a lawsuit are not akin to lottery winnings. The purpose of the funds awarded from a class action lawsuit is to make restitution for the crimes committed not as some sort of FREE LUNCH for the offended parties. This means that the government is under obligation to use the tobacco funds to combat a problem that kills 400,000 people a year, including funding of health care and smoking prevention campaigns. IMHO, from my studies of the tobacco settlement a small percentage of the money is actually used for smoking prevention while most of it is being used for other needs of the victorious states.

I don't feel it is the government's place to influence behaviour in this fashion. I don't like the means in otherwords, because I think they are self-defeating. And expensive.

First, thetruth.com is not a government agency. Secondly according to this article, cigarette smoking has decreased to such an extent that it has reduced the size of the tobacco payout. the reduction in smoking seems to suggest that the anti-smoking campaigns may not have been as self defeating as you claim. As for the expense of anti-smoking campaign, it is also mentioned in the linked article that only about 2% of the settlement money is being spent on anti-smoking ads and the like.

What i'd like to know is what exactly do you feel the ad money should be spent on instead. It is a well known fact that Prevention Is Beter Than Cure but you suggest reduction in tobacco smoking prevention campaigns.

[ Parent ]
Re: This article has TOO many flaws. (2.50 / 4) (#24)
by TheLocust on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 09:07:49 AM EST

RE:Strike One (or a foul tip)

The other replies to this point explain it well. It's not a lottery. It's litigation.

RE:Strike Two (a.k.a. my point)

I don't think the Truth campaign is too much about fear tactics. Fear tactics are more often than not untrue. The Truth campaign's claims are all backed in fact. Bringing these facts to the public may be scary to some, but it needs to be done. Again, in response to your point about the "cultural norm", check out <a href=http://thetruth.com/faq/flash/index.html>the Truth FAQ again, specifically #10. And #11 in regards to their information.

RE:Strike Three

Why should it NOT be the government's place to influence this behavior? The real behavior they went after was the marketing to kids. Kids that DIDN'T smoke, mind you. And to combat that, they have started this campaign to inform people of the deadly statistics that belie tobacco. And as far as you seeing the commercial and wanting a cigarette, well, that's perfectly natural, considering your addiction to nicotine. However, the Truth is aimed at non-smoking kids to NOT SMOKE. After you start, it is extremely hard to stop. A ounce of prevention, in this case, is worth a TON of cure.

I apologize about the drivel crack. I understand this being a rant, but your points lack the foundation for a good argument. PROVE to me your points, and we can have a discussion. Otherwise, it's just a shouting match ala Springer.
.......o- thelocust -o.........
ignorant people speak of people
average people speak of events
great people speak of ideas

[ Parent ]

Re: This article has TOO many flaws. (none / 0) (#93)
by ajf on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 12:57:40 AM EST

The court action was done by the government on behalf of ibots citizens. We won. It not direct tax dollars, but I think the theory holds. These are, in effect, public dollars being spent. Unless your argument goes deeper than that.

I think it does go deeper than that. The money came from the tobacco settlement, so it should be used by the government to try to reduce smoking.

We can debate how effective this use of the money is. I would hope that a very large share of the money goes to fund medical treatment for those dying of cigarette-related illnesses - after all, isn't the point supposed to be that the tobacco companies put the health of these people at risk by hiding what they knew about their products?

But to use the money to reduce taxes as hinted at by another comment here, would be grossly irresponsible.



"I have no idea if it is true or not, but given what you read on the Web, it seems to be a valid concern." -jjayson
[ Parent ]
Re: This article has TOO many flaws. (2.33 / 6) (#19)
by cthulhu on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 02:33:44 AM EST

I voted this article down for obvious reasons. The truth campaign has been the most successful non-smoking campaign ever. It has had more press in the last half of this year than ANY effort. The ads may be shocking, but they get a point across. And to insinuate that this is going to "round up" the next generation of smokers, I think that you are sorely wrong. So, until you PROVE to me otherwise, rather than attempting to foist your opinions upon us as FACT, then I will continue to vote down your baseless drivel.

Despite the fact that the opinions may be wrong, it looks like a good start for discussion



[ Parent ]
Re: This article has TOO many flaws. (3.33 / 3) (#39)
by Demona on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 01:22:04 PM EST

>thetruth.com campaign is being funded SOLELY by the tobacco companies, in accordance with the tobacco settlement

I didn't follow the tobacco cases. Are you telling me that the tobacco companies are not being fucked, but rather, they are being forced to fuck THEMSELVES?

That's it. It's time to shoot the bastards.

-dj

desperately in need of a vacation

[ Parent ]

Re: This article has TOO many flaws. (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by TheLocust on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 06:28:40 PM EST

I didn't follow the tobacco cases. Are you telling me that the tobacco companies are not being fucked, but rather, they are being forced to fuck THEMSELVES?

Well, i think it is rather poetic, don't you? After all, if I had to GIVE someone money to have them give it to someone to kick my ass, it would hurt twicefold, eh?

Keep in mind that states (like Kentucky, where I live) will also be receiving monies due to the class-action lawsuit we joined. This money will likely go to help farmers convert from tobacco to other products, like aquaculture or (though I doubt it), hemp.
.......o- thelocust -o.........
ignorant people speak of people
average people speak of events
great people speak of ideas

[ Parent ]

And heres your grass roots... (2.00 / 6) (#16)
by dieman on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 01:38:10 AM EST

Target Market, based in Minneapolis, MN, has been putting ads up around here all the time. I think they are tasteful and do a great job. All your argument is that you think your money is going to waste because the govt forced them to do it.

right?
---
blah
Re: And heres your grass roots... (3.00 / 3) (#17)
by dieman on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 01:42:31 AM EST

Where does Target Market get its money from? Ironically, the tobacco industry. The State of Minnesota, along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, sued Big Tobacco and won. The State Legislature set aside a portion of the lawsuit settlement for youth tobacco prevention. That money funds Target Market. But the money we spend is just a fraction of the amount Big Tobacco spends on marketing in Minnesota.

Nevermind, same deal here.

I still don't get what your issue is. Have you read any of this stuff? They propose to promote illegal activities. Jeez.


---
blah
[ Parent ]
Target Market ads stupid and offensive (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by forrest on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 08:21:03 PM EST

I'm assuming you mean the billboard and bus-shelter posters, right?

The current TM ad campaign is inoffensive, but banal and ignorable.

The original campaign consisted of billboards in obnoxious solid flourecent colors with one sentence in the middle in a plain typewriter font, and "handwritten" slogans around those.

The messages were addressed to the tabacco companies, and the tone was "you had to pay for this billboard nyah-nyah-nyah".

The purpose of these billboards, AFAICT, was to sell a form of pre-packaged rebellion to teens as a substitute for smoking. Combined with this intent, the "handwritten" scrawls seemed to me to have the effect of endorsing graffiti as an acceptable form of rebellion.

But what I found heinously offensive was that one of the handwritten taunts addressed at the tabacco companies was "see you in church". That taunt (which of course means "I'd better start seeing you in church, because you need to change your ways") tars all non-Christians with the same brush of moral deficiency as the tobacco companies.

Ironic message would be funded by the State of Minnesota, isn't it?

If the goal of the campaign is to endorse acceptable modes of rebellion, rejecting Christianity is surely not to be discouraged. In fact, disavowing association with the sort that would use "see you in church" as a taunt is probably the first step towards genuine morality.



[ Parent ]

One non-smoker's opinnion (3.00 / 6) (#27)
by dew_freak on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:21:59 AM EST

I do not smoke, and I think the ads are effective. I do not think the are 'scare-tactics', because they don't put any spin on the facts, they just give them to you.

And, to all the smokers who think they should always have a right to smoke, or to choose to ruin their life: have you considered the people around you who do not wish to inhale that smoke?

I am fortunate to be living on a university campus where smoking is not allowed in buildings, or within 50 feet of an entrance. In the dorms, smoking is only allowed in your room with the door closed.

However, when people smoke in their rooms, they usually do it near the windows and the smoke drifts up into my room. Also, I rarely see the 50 foot rule enforced.

(These are just my opininions, and I hope they help you see this issue from the non-smoking side.)

Re: One non-smoker's opinnion (3.80 / 5) (#33)
by Rand Race on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 12:14:11 PM EST

"And, to all the smokers who think they should always have a right to smoke, or to choose to ruin their life...."

While I agree with you about inflicting smoke on others, the right to chose to ruin my life is mine. It's not yours, it's not the government's, it is my damn body and I'll drill freakin holes in it if I want to. For a nation that claims to respect the free market and private property not to admit that my body is my property is hypocracy of epic proportions.

Funny that those who condemn communism and state control of... well, of anything are the first to claim that the state has a right to controll my body.... but not my checkbook, gods forbid.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Re: One non-smoker's opinnion (4.50 / 2) (#63)
by dew_freak on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 10:20:54 PM EST

While I agree with you about inflicting smoke on others, the right to chose to ruin my life is mine. It's not yours, it's not the government's, it is my damn body and I'll drill freakin holes in it if I want to.

I have absolutely no problem with other people doing whatever they want to themselves. Smoke, drink, or jump off a bridge, it doesn't matter to me. (Unless you choose to drive after you drink.)

I suppose what I'm really getting at is this: society works better when people can work together to resolve an issue like this. When smokers or smoking advocates declare that they should/do have the right to smoke even if it is unhealthy, then I feel like I have no choice in whether I want to be exposed to that smoke or not.

Doesn't it seem reasonable that if you have the right to smoke, then I should have the right to not be exposed to smoke?

I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do with their body.
I'm trying to tell people what I want to with my body.

[ Parent ]

Companies making commercials against themselves (2.60 / 5) (#28)
by reshippie on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:32:14 AM EST

I know that it's required by the settlement, but does anyone else have a problem trusting anti smoking facts coming from Phillip-Morris?

I also have issue with the fact that Phillip-Morris is also spends loads of money to improve their image by showing all of the great things their other companies are doing.

As for the Truth.com commercials, I just consider them another one of the annoying things that interrupt my watching of the crap that is on TV. I personally am not persuaded on most anything by what a paid advertisement tells me. I do smoke occasionally. Cloves and a cigar once in a while. The action can be relaxing, and those 2 actually have a taste, which I like, since I don't inhale (yeah yeah, make your Clinton jokes, I did before I knew anything about smoking). That's my choice, and I made it on my own, while at college.

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)

Re: Companies making commercials against themselve (1.50 / 2) (#65)
by plastik55 on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 10:55:05 PM EST

I do smoke occasionally. Cloves and a cigar once in a while. The action can be relaxing, and those 2 actually have a taste, which I like, since I don't inhale (yeah yeah, make your Clinton jokes, I did before I knew anything about smoking).

Yeah, Cloves and cigars you don't generally inahale on. But with marijuana (which Clinton made his statement about) you do inhale, and deeply. Personal experience speaks here.
w00t!
[ Parent ]

Criticizing the wrong ads (2.80 / 5) (#31)
by Precious Roy on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 12:09:33 PM EST

I don't have a problem with thetruth.com ads. They pretty much seem to focus on how smoking kills an insane number of people, which I can't see as an explicit or implicit endorsement of smoking by any stretch.

As others have stated, my problem is with what I consider the blatant hypocrisy of the tobacco companies in the ads they're required to run under the settlement.

One ad by Lorillard - "Tobacco is whacko if you're a teen."

I can just picture a tobacco exec thinking, "Yeah, if you're under 18, the law says we have to tell you not to smoke. The day you turn 18, we will do everything in our power to hook you."

Oh Give it a Rest (2.22 / 9) (#35)
by wholen1 on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 12:58:52 PM EST

There is no reason to make generalizations about "Big Bad Tobacco Companies." Come on people, think for yourselves and don't be spoon-fed by some media propaganda. If you are a somker then you choose to smoke. If you aren't a smoker, well thank God you survived that 'evil' targeting?
I get so sick and tired of the public in general just believing everything they hear reported on the TV and radio. It makes me sick to think that most people consider the media outlets as "unbiased" when in fact, it is really clear that "unbiased" is not what most of them exhibit (much less claim). The media doesn't have to be unbiased to do their job.
As for the truth.com - well those commercials are stupid. If tobacco companies are paying for those ads they should just strap a big A-bomb to their backs and light the preverbial fuse. Truth.com certainly doesn't endear tobacco to the loving, self-conscious public, whom are persuaded by every gosh darned story they hear.
On a seperate note, all those law-suits where states sued the tobacco companies for millions or billions.. whatever happened to that money? Is it ear-marked for people who smoke? or is it just to fund some new highway? Or is it for commercials to prevent the inalienable right of a young adult to make an informed decision?
Get with it.. get real.. no one's out to get you or your kids. Teach them right from wrong, to say no sir and yes sir, and that they can't smoke while they live in your house.. once they are on their own they will do whatever they want anyway.
Out... E

Rebellion, yes. Smoking, no. (2.80 / 5) (#36)
by Strider on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 01:06:09 PM EST

As a smoker, there is a certain cultural element wrapped up in the habit. It is a sign of rebellion, a sign of independance. A sign of all that is wrong with society.

I think most kids will (after seeing these commercials) think that tobacco companies are "A sign of all that is wrong with society." Rather than seeing kids start smoking, I predict we will see teenagers and college students boycotting Philip-Morris companies like Kraft.
---
"it's like having gravity suddenly replaced by cheez-whiz" - rusty

are you kidding... (2.66 / 3) (#41)
by JediLuke on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 02:01:24 PM EST

why were you offended? because someone was bold enough to show the truth? come on. live in the now...how are we supposed to do this, candy coat it and make it look not that bad. well maybe you would like something like that, but too many of my family members are dying or died from cancer, CAUSED BY CIGARETTES.
-JediLuke
"You're all clear kid, lets blow this joint and go home." -Han Solo
Re: are you kidding... (3.50 / 2) (#42)
by baberg on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 02:20:58 PM EST

too many of my family members are dying or died from cancer

I'll try to put this is the most non-offensive way that I can, but did your family members know of the dangers of smoking cigarettes? Did they read on the side of the package about how the Surgeon General said they would cause lung cancer, etc?

I feel for you, because nobody should lose family members to something so terrible as cancer (especially lung cancer). But cigarettes do not smoke themselves. While they may have become addicted to cigarettes, there are ways out of the addiction.

Again, my purpose is not to offend you, or harm you, but did they know about the possible (some would say inevitable) repercussions of their actions? If so, I have little sympathy because they knew the results of their actions beforehand.

[ Parent ]

Re: are you kidding... (3.33 / 3) (#43)
by JediLuke on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 02:23:38 PM EST

these people started smoking a long freaking time ago...they were marked for death long before they began dying. but it is a drug, and it is very addictive.
-JediLuke
"You're all clear kid, lets blow this joint and go home." -Han Solo
[ Parent ]
Re: are you kidding... (5.00 / 2) (#54)
by cybersquid on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 04:51:53 PM EST

In the case of my father: no. Such labels weren't in place when he became addicted.

Did he find out later, soon enough to quit? Yes.

Did he? Yeah; once he found out he had cancer.

There is some complex psychology involved. People become addicted to stuff all the time, and spend the entire rest of their lives fighting it. Often things less addictive than nicotine (like Cocaine).

Nonetheless, it is obscenely wrong that the tobacco companies got wealthy selling this stuff. They lied to the kids they hooked. They're still doing it.

I find it continually surreal that 6 years and $10million was spent on whether a president lied about getting a blow job. A whole table of tobacco executives hold their hands up and swear before congress and the country that tobacco is not addictive.

Dollars spent prosecuting their perjury: $0.00

[ Parent ]

Re: are you kidding... (2.00 / 1) (#59)
by JediLuke on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 08:16:39 PM EST

WORD! that is one coolest things i've ever heard
-JediLuke
"You're all clear kid, lets blow this joint and go home." -Han Solo
[ Parent ]
Re: are you kidding... (2.33 / 3) (#45)
by Kintanon on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 02:43:10 PM EST

why were you offended? because someone was bold enough to show the truth? come on. live in the now...how are we supposed to do this, candy coat it and make it look not that bad. well maybe you would like something like that, but too many of my family members are dying or died from cancer, CAUSED BY CIGARETTES. Oh, of course, silly me. Taking a group of the dumbest, most pathetic, LOSERS you can dredge up off of the street and haveing them proclaim that they don't smoke is a PERFECT way to protray smoking as 'uncool'. Yeah, right... I got a bridge to sell you too. Seriously, they pick the most horrible sets of people, the ones that make me think, 'good lord, I don't want to be associated with those losers, maybe I should start smoking...' this is NOT an effective way to prevent smoking. TV commercials will never do that, only parental intervention has a chance. Kintanon

[ Parent ]
New Brand Advertising (2.83 / 6) (#44)
by OKolzig37 on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 02:39:25 PM EST

The one problem with these ads that Philip Morris are funding is that they are letting everybody know that they're funding them (not necessarily thetruth.com ads, but others). Smoking and tobacco products have been banned from TV commercials for over 25 years now, and now Philip Morris gets advertising because they're technically public service announcements. Now, basically they get to say: "We aren't advertising to kids anymore and here at Philip Morris, we just wanted you to know...and we're really nice guys."

Although, they can still sponsor race teams (Marlboro and Kool are still two popular teams on the CART circuit), it's funny because other advertisers block them out. A Honda commercial about Team Kool Green says Team Green on the side of the car, not Kool, which is actually there. I guess other advertisers want nothing to do with them...
Oldy moldy, history mystery!
the truth is not enough (2.50 / 4) (#46)
by Bloodwine on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 02:58:03 PM EST

I can not speak for everyone, but I am quite desensitized (and I am sure that I am not alone). Seeing some teens hold signs which displays numbers doesn't do anything for me (other than remark how stupid the commercials are). I would suggest a more realistic approach to anti-smoking propoganda. Show people with tubes shoved in holes in their throats. Of course, that would have little effect. Teens (especially) think they are indestructable... "Yeah, I see all those old people with cancer and breathing devices, but that'll never happen to me because i'm stronger and better than them." I could care less if people get cancer (we all die one way or another). People can make decisions for themselves... as long as they accept the consequences. People who whine "I have lung cancer" after smoking 20+ years have no sympathy from me. Sure they have only labled the dangers of cigarettes fairly recently, but it's common sense that inhaling smoke into the body on a regular basis is Not A Good Thing(tm). I just wish they could make cigarettes to where I don't have to be bothered by second-hand smoke.

Re: the truth is not enough (3.00 / 1) (#88)
by Anonymous 6522 on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 09:02:05 PM EST

Why do use special effects to make some teenagers appear to have tubes shoved down their throats. That might make the problems with smoking seem less remote.

[ Parent ]
Their response (4.20 / 5) (#47)
by interiot on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 03:18:04 PM EST

They've already responded to such a viewpoint in their FAQ:
    10. Don't you know that anti-"anything"; campaigns only make that "anything" seem more rebellious and cool?

    Maybe, but we don't think getting addicted to nicotine and helping some tobacco executives get rich is all that cool, rebellious, or independent. If those are the things you're looking for, then come along for the ride - we'll show how it's really done. The fact is, wasting money to screw up your body so some corporate guy in a suit can afford another Lexus never seemed all that cool to us. And we think other kids around the country are smart enough to start figuring this out once we tell them the truth about tobacco and what the tobacco companies have been doing.

Their commercials are more "The Man is trying to help you kill yourself so he can get rich" rather than "you're killing yourself". I think that firmly focuses rebelious attitudes towards the tobacco companies.

And mine (2.00 / 2) (#50)
by Wah on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 03:57:52 PM EST

Maybe,

So we get a "maybe" from the original source

but we don't think getting addicted to nicotine and helping some tobacco executives get rich is all that cool, rebellious, or independent.

No, it isn't, but ignoring or reacting negatively against propoganda is.

Besides, I was more curious about what the k5 crowd thought of the argument, rather than the group it is leveled against.
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

Re: Their response (2.00 / 2) (#57)
by TheDude on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 05:42:29 PM EST

Their commercials are more "The Man is trying to help you kill yourself so he can get rich" rather than "you're killing yourself". I think that firmly focuses rebelious attitudes towards the tobacco companies.

If The Man is trying to kill you, get some help and overthrow Him. If you're trying to kill yourself, why should The Man be able to stop you? As long as you're not infringing on others' rights, who has the right to tell you what you can and cannot do?

--
TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

[ Parent ]
Re: Their response (none / 0) (#85)
by interiot on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 05:01:18 PM EST

In this case, The Man is trying to hide the fact that he's interested in hooking you and killing you. First you figure that out (ala TheTruth.com), then you go overthrow him.

[ Parent ]
Re: Their response (2.00 / 2) (#64)
by plastik55 on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 10:49:29 PM EST

Their commercials are more "The Man is trying to help you kill yourself so he can get rich" rather than "you're killing yourself". I think that firmly focuses rebelious attitudes towards the tobacco companies.

So why is The Man making these commercials?

Sorry, but as far as I remember being a teenager relatively recently, these commercials woudl make me very angry at the people wasting my money to make these commercials, and insamuch as this is my attitude, the fact that they are trying to make a point against (tobacco|SUVs|violent video games|cause du jour) is irrelevant. So no, it wouldn't have focused my rebellious attitudes back then, and it doesn't today.

This ad campaign tactic, in which the TV teenager says something to the effect of "smoking's not cool, man" has been tried before, and has alwas been a dismal failure. The only difference with TheTruth is that they are spending way more money.
w00t!
[ Parent ]

please ignore this- just testing a mozilla bug (1.12 / 8) (#49)
by luge on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 03:26:34 PM EST

In case you are curious, http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=53414 documents a possible mozilla bug that shows up here. I'm just testing to see if it can be duplicated or not.

Ads make no difference (3.25 / 4) (#52)
by oleandrin on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 04:07:57 PM EST

Did the whole 'brain on drugs' ad campaign back from some time ago change anything? Last I remember, the slogan had been turned around into a variety of low-grade semi-humorous t-shirts (ie, "...This is your brain on San Diego [with brain in sunglasses etc.]"). Admittedly, the truth ads are darker, but I don't think they'll be taken in any different light to the people to whom the ads are targetted.

Smoking is a remarkably stupid thing to do, and I didn't need any ads to convince me of the fact. It's just traditionally seen as rebellious in a devil-may-care-riverboat-gambler sort of way, so teens or whoever looking for an easy way to appear cool and self-destructive can always turn to it for that.

Frankly, there's a lot more rebellious things that someone can do than show up at class reeking of cigarettes...

(2.80 / 5) (#53)
by adric on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 04:28:01 PM EST

Let me hit a few points, some better than others:

  • What a waste of a domain name.. Something truly useful could have been done with that site's name.
  • We really don't want the gov't edging anything else that a large section of the population does into illegality. (see also: Prohibition, War on Drugs, linking to other websites?!, et al)
  • The most important economic indicator, at least in urban areas of USA is the cost of a pack of name brand cigarettes divided by the cost of a nickel or dime bag. Think for a minute how much fun it's going to be when weed is cheaper than 'legal' tobacco.
  • The trouble with paternal government is that it interferes with social Darwinism too much. It's definitely leading to overcrowding. If people want to smoke, so what? Maybe they don't live as long as those who do not. The problem is that so much of the health care of the citizenry is paid for or administered by the government that the government (state, federal) feels it has a vested interest in keeping stupid people from injuring and offing themselves. This does not benefit the common good.
  • I am shocked that scriptkiddie 'hacktivists' (sic) haven't taken thetruth.com offline. I mean, geez, what are they doing with their time? Are there most needy targets I don't know about?
  • The truth, if there is such a thing, is of more value than this. The people responsible for those ads should be spanked soundly.

Okay, I'm done venting for now :)



It's just a bunch of leaves, right? (2.60 / 5) (#55)
by fonetik on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 05:08:44 PM EST

They said on one of their ads that "smoking makes you thin" is a myth. The (simplified) reality behind that is smoking when you are hungry will release the same chemicals in your brain as eating, thus, you might not eat as much. Remove the hunger, and you might not eat. This, isn't a direct correlation, but come on... every person I know that quit smoking got bigger.

They combat the ads in magazines that are "Aimed at kids" because they have a cartoon charactor. Here's a great solution: Switch Joe Camel and Smokey the Bear! Obviously since they are both cartoons, but kids are listening to Joe, and smoking; but not listening to Smokey, and lighting forest fires. If we switch them, then obviously kids will just stop smoking and stop lighting forrest fires. (Since as we all know, kids are simply mindless drones that listen to anything animated charactors tell them.)

If they are saying that this is TheTruth! (tm), I am going to have to start using another word to define what I think is true.

What they need to realize is that credibility is the only thing they could have going for them, and lying, or bending the facts, will just make things worse.

The idea that they are going to stop this industry from making money is insane. A bunch of leaves and paper cost $5! How much goes to the government? Lets just say minus everything, they make a buck a pack. How much does it really cost to make the ciggarettes? I mean, this stuff just grows in the ground, right? Stop their execs from buying another Lexus? Not likely. Not like that.
-fonetik
A thousand compromises doesn't add up to a win. -Aimee Mann
Re: It's just a bunch of leaves, right? (2.50 / 2) (#56)
by TheDude on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 05:38:37 PM EST

Here's a great solution: Switch Joe Camel and Smokey the Bear!

Don't suggest that too strongly. Someone in the government may take that as a serious suggestion and do so. Then we'd have commercials like: Joe Camel says only you can prevent forest fires - don't smoke! Good old government making the tobacco companies (whether they knew/know smoking was/is cancerous or not is irrelevant) create advertisements against their product. A product which people should have the choice to use without the government or other citizens bitching at them because they're 'unhealthy'. Every single person in the world is unhealthy somehow. Since when did being healthy become something to be mandated to us by the government?

If they are saying that this is TheTruth! (tm), I am going to have to start using another word to define what I think is true.

Heh. Just don't believe the government when they say something is true. We've been fooled into believing the government is always right, always protecting us, always on the side of good. Bullshit. We need to stop letting the government control our lives, through restricting substances of which people are free to decide if they want to imbibe, through taking the money we earn at our jobs to use for things like the War on Drugs, through making us pay them to control our lives. The government can only force people to do things if people let the government do so.

--
TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

[ Parent ]
The Last Time I Checked... (3.42 / 7) (#61)
by MikeyC on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 09:06:24 PM EST

The US was a free country and its citizens were allowed the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". I guess we should add a footnote to the Declaration of Independence, huh?

"...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (1)..."

(1) - As long as that pursuit isn't frowned upon by other people who think they know better than most.

Come on people! Give me a break... Let those who want to smoke - Smoke. If you don't want to smoke - FINE.

Look at it like this -

Do you REALLY want the government (or a bunch of 'do-gooders') to be able to tell you what you can and cannot eat? How long until the "Fatty Food Police" comes along?

Do you REALLY want the government (or a bunch of 'do-gooders') to be able to tell you what you can and cannot drink? How long until Prohibition is reinstated?

"Protecting people from themselves" is not a valid excuse, in my humble opinion, to remove peoples' freedoms from them. If people want to smoke, drink, get high, ride motorcycles without helmets, etc - MORE POWER TO THEM! As long as they're not HARMING OTHERS and only HARMING THEMSELVES, pat 'em on the back and send em on their way. Hell, maybe we'll clean up the gene pool along the way :)

Let's look at this another way - When has the prohibition of anything made it go away? Did it work with alcohol in the 20's? Is it working with 'drugs' now? Will it work with tobacco in the future?? Let me ask you the same question when a 'cigarette junkie' is breaking into your car so he can afford a $50 pack of smokes :)

I hope you see what I'm getting at here - Let people do what they want. Telling someone "No you can't do it" just makes them want to do. Did we learn nothing from our own stint in puberty?? If it loses the 'glamour effect', a lot of gullable, "I need to be cool and anti-establishment" teens will not care...

As for me, I'm going to head home, pour a nice glass of scotch, light a cigar, and toast all those people who know better for me than I do for myself.


Re: The Last Time I Checked... (2.50 / 2) (#70)
by matman on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 01:07:38 AM EST

If you do something, you effect other people. May it be your family, friends, or standers by. Substance abuse changes people over time - slowly, but it does. You can hurt other people. Call me a wussy, but emotionally. Smoking is a little more direct, physical effect. I recently had a piece of my lung removed - I'm tall and it popped on it's own (apparently they do that sometimes). Within the second month out of the hospital, I was exposed to cigarette smoke. I had to go back to the hospital with severe chest pain - I couldnt breathe. This was fairly light ambient cigarette smoke. Smoking is not a personal choice, it's a choice that you're making for other people (unless you do it inside of a plastic bubble or something).

[ Parent ]
Re: The Last Time I Checked... (3.00 / 1) (#75)
by Chibi Merrow on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 09:35:47 AM EST

Apparently you mentioned the gentleman's comment "as long as you're not hurting anyone else." In the case of secondhand smoke, a smoker has no right to expose you to that. The smoker, however, has every right to wreck his or her own life by smoking. And harming family and friends emotionally IMHO is not a valid argument for government regulation. I don't want the government protecting me from my Brother hurting my feelings, I'd rather take that up w/ him myself.
"There are only two things that are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not so sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
Non-Smoking Smoker (3.80 / 5) (#62)
by the coose on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 10:07:26 PM EST

First let me say that I agree with the majority of posts here saying that if you want to smoke, smoke. I also believe that sectioning a resturant into smoking and non-smoking sections is the right thing to do (with the addition, perhaps, of kids and non-kids section as well, but that's another story.) I smoked cigarettes for 11 years; I started as an occasional smoker in high school and ended up a full blown smoker in college. After 5 tries I finally managed to give them up and it was the best thing I've done from a health standpoint. I didn't realize what they were doing to me until I quit.

Now I don't know about cigars but if you smoke cigarettes, let me suggest this: give them up for a week. It's tough but after a week you will probably notice a difference as I did. Then decide if you want to go back to smoking again.

I don't mean to sound like I'm lecturing, and, quite frankly, thetruth.com is a bit silly IMHO for reasons covered in other posts. But after giving up coffin nails after 11 years, I can tell you it's worth it.

A couple of years ago, a friend, who had just quit smoking, told me that once you're a smoker you're always a smoker. You'll always have that urge - nicotine is powerful. He said he was a non-smoking smoker. And after a year of being on the wagon, I know now exactly what he was saying. To this day I still get the urge to light up a butt, but I've learn to control it (with thanks, in no small part, to Altoids ;-) It's something that sticks with you the rest of your life.

Besides that are other things, better things, to smoke other than tabacco. ;-)

Re: Non-Smoking Smoker (none / 0) (#95)
by Mendax Veritas on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 03:36:58 PM EST

I also believe that sectioning a resturant into smoking and non-smoking sections is the right thing to do.
I don't. Smoke in a restaurant spreads very quickly into the non-smoking section. Granted, the smoke will be thickest in the smoking section, but it's not as if the air in the non-smoking section will be anywhere near smoke-free. I tend to agree with whoever it was that said that a no-smoking section in a restaurant is sort of like a no-pissing section in a public swimming pool. It's a much better solution to not allow smoking in restaurants/bars/etc. at all. Anyone who wants to smoke can step outside for a few minutes. That's how it currently works here in California, and having recently seen the alternative on a trip to Washington, DC, I think California has made the right decision.

[ Parent ]
Message to smokers... (3.16 / 6) (#69)
by SwampGas on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 12:18:13 AM EST

Of course, this may seem offensive to some, but for non-smokers, I'm sure you'll whole-heartedly agree.

Smokers - Have another! Have a few more! Hurry up and kill yourself off before *MY* children start breathing it in and getting lung cancer from it. Thank god they're finally barring smoking from more and more public places. I remember the old discussions about how the Bill of Rights protects you only so far before you start infringing on the right of others. Don't we deserve to breathe clean air?

However, on the other hand, why not quit? Less money I have to shell out every April 15th.

Disclaimer: I say the same thing about drunk drivers, about people on welfare who refuse to work, etc...I don't just single out smokers.

Re: Message to smokers... (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by Chibi Merrow on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 01:42:16 PM EST

Ahhh, SwampGas-san, I did not realize you also haunted these forums. Such a worthy opponent I have now found. :)

Yes, you are correct, under no circumstances should you have to breathe in second-hand smoke, ever. That's like being forced to drink water someone has been dripping strychnine(sp) into. But, does that mean someone shouldn't be able to smoke away from others where no one will inhale it? Understand, I am not a smoker and find it a detestable practice; I've seen what it did to my family and I've seen many family members die of (non-smoking related) cancer, so I wish people wouldn't do it. But under the same 'Bill of Rights' argument, do we have a right to tell these people they can't smoke when it only affects them? By all means, be upset if any of your tax money goes to help a smoker. They got themselves into this and we shouldn't pay for it. I'm a tax preparer myself, so I have very strong feelings about how my tax money is spent, since I see how much of it gets funnelled in and how much of it comes back out into the hands of those who don't deserve it. But, that's a whole other rant. ;)

Again, good to see you, SwampGas. Hope the transition to leader of the Domain was a smooth one. :)

-Merrow

"There are only two things that are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not so sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
Re: Message to smokers... (none / 0) (#86)
by SwampGas on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 05:51:03 PM EST

If smokers choose to do it in their own home, then all the power to them. Even though it's (technically) illegal to kill yourself, nothing can authoritively say "NO" if you do it alone.

The problem is when they do it in public. Second hand smoke, fires, burn marks on private property, littering (cigarette butts everywhere), etc.

That's my gripe :)

[ Parent ]
.. even been to Europe? (3.40 / 5) (#71)
by alexalexis on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 02:17:47 AM EST

You know, before I went to Europe this summer, I thought the tobacco settlements here in the United States were a big deal. What a joke.

I don't know how many of you have been to Europe recently, but a huge percentage of the population enjoys chain smoking American brand cigarettes. In some countries, Marlboros are cheaper than bottled water.

If we think we're doing anything more than kicking the tires of the tobacco industry, we're seriously deluded.

Just wait until the Asian market catches Philip Moris fever.

Tobacco execs are laughing all the way to the bank on this one.



Re: .. even been to Europe? (3.00 / 1) (#73)
by turnstep on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 06:35:10 AM EST

Just wait until the Asian market catches Philip Moris fever.

Too late. The Asian market is even worse than the European one, if you can beleive that. I wish I could find the figures, but I remember that a very alarming percentage of Asians were expected to die tobacco-related deaths in the next few decades due to the habit's ubiquity over there.

Yes, I've been to Europe and it is bad too, maybe almost as bad as Asia (but I doubt it). My point is only that Asia is definitely in the advanced stages of "Philip Morris fever."



[ Parent ]
Re: .. even been to Europe? (none / 0) (#89)
by alexalexis on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 09:50:00 PM EST

Very true, but I was wondering how many of those cigarettes are from American companies. My statement wasn't particularly clear in that regard.

[ Parent ]
The commercials are doing no good. (2.33 / 6) (#72)
by Lee^ on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 04:39:05 AM EST

I'm 17. I started smoking when I was 15 or so. I still smoke, probably 15-20 a day. I can't summarize why I started, but it wasn't peer pressure or trying to look cool or any of the other things you hear. It was curiosity more than anything. I knew it was bad for me, what moron thinks inhaling smoke isn't bad for you? (obviously a few from the lawsuits) I, and everyone I know, think these commercials are stupid and a waste. Seen the one where they're wearing nametags like "Increased revenue"? Isn't that what all businesses see customers as? And how is it tobacco kills 1/3 of the people that use it? I still don't get that one. I will quit some day, I have enough self control to do it, but I don't want to right now. I enjoy smoking. Leave me alone.

"I don't have a problem. I can quit anytime.. (2.00 / 1) (#81)
by Chibi Merrow on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 01:44:31 PM EST


"There are only two things that are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not so sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
Something similar that I see happening in the UK (2.33 / 3) (#74)
by grahamsz on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 07:27:55 AM EST

In the UK we do have very strong anti-smoking campaigns and to some extent these seem to be taking effect. I'm 19 just now and it's not really seen as at all fashionable to smoke.

What concerns me more is that from about age 15 there is some desire to do things 'rebellious'. When I was that age, drinking was the in thing, and we reguarly got stupidly drunk at parties.

However now in the UK the government are tightening up controls on underage allochol sales to extreme levels. Unfortunately now any 15 yr old without older friends or siblings is left with either smoking or drugs.

Given that smoking is no longer trendy here I have serious concerns that the governments moves are creating a generation of drug users, especially considering they are readily available in most high schools and usually cost markedly less than alcohol does.

Does anyone else see this happening?
--
Sell your digital photos - I've made enough to buy a taco today
Sheesh (2.66 / 3) (#76)
by Chibi Merrow on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 09:58:50 AM EST

Honestly alot of these comments downright annoy me. I have half a mind to smack the next person that says something about the tobacco industry addicting people to a drug they can't get off of. If you told my Parents that tobacco was too addictive for you to quit, they'd call you a plain faced liar. Both my Mom and Dad were long time smokers, then they sat down and thought about what the smoking was doing to their health and the health of their children, and they quit--cold turkey. And now you can get over-the-counter garbage to help you deal w/ your cravings and such, so the only excuse as to why someone has not quit smoking is that they don't REALLY want to.

And as for people suing the tobacco industry because smoking makes them sick... Do you know a smoker who doesn't know smoking will kill them? No smoker I know is unaware of this fact. They all simply don't care. Fine, if they're stupid enough to kill themselves, get them out of the gene pool. People will think this is harsh, but we simply cannot afford to protect people from their own stupidity when we can very easily make them learn to think for themselves. If someone out there truly doesn't know smoking won't make them sick, then by ALL MEANS sue the company who makes your cigarettes. But if you continue to buy and use a product after you know the inherent dangers involved in using it, you are solely responsible for the consequences. If I know a Server is defective and has a terrible security flaw before I buy it, I could never make a lawsuit stand up against the company I purchased it from should I be DoS'd. Especially if it says somewhere on the server case, "There is a known security flaw in this server; Bugtraq warns that this server could be dangerous to the health of your business. Use at your own risk." That is essentially what we are dealing with here. Consumers who know what they're getting into when they purchase the product, and people who want to limit and control what these consumers put into their own body.

When you replace responsibility with limited freedom, it is a sad state of affairs. Make people responsible for their actions instead of making yourself responsible for the people and limiting your actions. Adults don't need someone over them like a parent watching their every move to make sure they don't hurt themselves. They SHOULD'VE gotten enough of that as a child to know what's bad for them.

That's my two and a half bits.
-Merrow

"There are only two things that are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not so sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
Re: Sheesh (3.00 / 1) (#84)
by janra on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 04:44:46 PM EST

Both my Mom and Dad were long time smokers, then they sat down and thought about what the smoking was doing to their health and the health of their children, and they quit--cold turkey.

Your parents are strong-willed. My Dad did the same (though he sure went through a lot of life-savers the first few months). The problem is, not everyone has that kind of willpower - or just plain old stubbornness.

Do you know a smoker who doesn't know smoking will kill them? No smoker I know is unaware of this fact. They all simply don't care.

They know now. But the ones who aren't stubborn enough to resist the nicotine cravings who also started before people found out that cigarettes were bad for you - what about them? It can be hard for a stubborn person to understand how someone could give in to a craving that he really doesn't want to give in to...

As an aside (but still related to cigarettes and the anti-smoking ads), the packs of cigarettes in Canada all have printed on them in fairly large type messages like "smoking can kill you", and something wierd happened to me one day while I was working at a gas station. (That was wierd in itself - I was 17 and carding 23 year olds) This guy came in and asked for a pack of cigarettes. As usual, I grabbed the front one off the shelf. He asked if he could have a different pack. Huh? The pack said, "smoking can harm your children" or something to that effect. So I replaced it with one that said "smoking can kill you", and he seemed much happier with it. I never have figured that one out...

-janra
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

smoking (1.66 / 3) (#77)
by t3df13dl3r on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 12:48:28 PM EST

As an ex-smoker nothing appeals to me more than the thought of one last cigarette, but nothing could appeal to me less than 1200 body bags... This is a pretty cool link that sometimes deals with the evil empire that tobacco companies have become.

Re: smoking (2.00 / 1) (#78)
by t3df13dl3r on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 12:50:49 PM EST

thats adbusters sorry for the typo...

[ Parent ]
Re: smoking (3.50 / 2) (#79)
by Chibi Merrow on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 01:34:22 PM EST

Why is a tobacco corporation more evil than, say, a fast food corporation? Both are out to make a profit. Both make products that kill us (eat a burger or two every day and see how your heart likes it), both of their products are addictive (I find salty french fries to be irresistable, personally) and Heart Disease (not lung cancer) is the No. 1 killer in America today. And yet if I ate one or two burgers and an order of fries everyday, then had a heart attack, I wouldn't sue Burger King for serving me a product I liked when I knew the risks. Nor would I refer to them as "evil". The only evil thing is when they don't put enough damn salt on my fries...

Aren't analogies fun?

-Merrow

"There are only two things that are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not so sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
Re: smoking (4.00 / 1) (#87)
by Anonymous 6522 on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 08:55:44 PM EST

Even if burgers can kill you when used in excess, they shouldn't be put in the same catagory as cigarettes. Cigarettes just are a method for the delevery of an addictive drug, that is in itself bad, but they also deliver a whole shitload of toxins with that drug. Burgers on the other had provide some nutrition, even if it's not that good. Fast food isn't good for you when eaten in excess, because doing that does cause some harm. Cigarettes are even worse because they deliver nothing other than drugs and toxins.

[ Parent ]
Re: smoking (none / 0) (#96)
by fantastic-cat on Fri Sep 29, 2000 at 09:12:36 AM EST

yeah fast food companies are evil too but it's important to remember that nicoteen is an extremely potent poison (there's enough in a pack of cigarettes to kill someone if administered correctly) where as fat and salt are part of a normal diet. Also smoking is said to be a contributing factor towards heart disease. completely unrelated but interesting smoking factoid : in Japan where over half the adult population smoke (I think it's around 65% but I'm not sure) they have one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Makes you think... (well it makes me think anyway)

[ Parent ]
Coolness (3.50 / 2) (#82)
by Hard_Code on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 03:01:33 PM EST

You're right. A lot of smoking is about being rebellious and cool and having something in common with peers. If you look at the commercials though, I think they are doing a pretty good job of making clear this is uncool. Sure you can not talk about it, or you can let tobacco companies educate your children, and they will go ahead and smoke because it is the cool thing to do. If you start implanting the idea that *they're* the chump for smoking and that their peers will think they're stupid, *that* will stop them smoking, or prevent them from starting. I think it will be an effective campaign. It sure is amusing (that body-bags on horses commercial is pretty funny). I don't think it is unreasonable for the government to use tax dollars to campaign against an activity which ends up costing tax payers in the end.

Jazilla - the pure Java browser
Keep on lighting up (3.00 / 3) (#83)
by 4gapa on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 03:15:14 PM EST

Phillip Morris and RJR Nabisco both make up a large percentage of my portfolio for one simple reason - they are very profitable companies with exceptional growth potential. Betting that teens will do stupid things to themselves is money in the bank.

Re: Keep on lighting up (none / 0) (#94)
by Hk_Silver on Thu Sep 28, 2000 at 02:57:24 AM EST

Jesus, if what you are saying is true than you are one disgusting fuck. How can you live with yourself knowing that you are harvesting death?
That government is best which governs least.
[ Parent ]
the issue is... (1.00 / 2) (#90)
by aml on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 12:31:23 AM EST

secondhand smoke. smokers that smoke in public are manifestly causing a dentrimental effect on my health against my will. plus, it smells like shit, and only retards pay for a product that kills you. it just makes you look like stupid fucking dickhead. which is what thetruth.com is getting at.

Re: the issue is... (none / 0) (#91)
by Chibi Merrow on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 01:15:56 AM EST

Again I re-iterate, burgers and fries kill you, too. More often, even, since Heart Disease kills more people than lung cancer. Does that make all of us who eat burgers and fries "retards"? As a blanket statement, I must say blanket statements are dangerous.

-Merrow, "stupid fucking dickhead" french fry addict
"There are only two things that are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not so sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
Hey, where's that SmokeDot dude? (none / 0) (#92)
by marlowe on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 02:05:17 PM EST

He should be all over this.
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
The Truth (dot com) | 96 comments (93 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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