Friday, March 28, 2008

Twin Towers of Tobacco

Wow. Talk about subliminal messages.

If anyone wanted proof positive that there is a deliberate attempt by anti-smoker zealots and tobacco prohibitionists to demonize smokers, then the latest ad campaign by ASH is surely it.

The fear mongers at ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) know no bounds when it comes to absurd claims regarding the alleged adverse affects of exposure to SHS (secondhand smoke). See post: Drifting tobacco smoke kills

But, the latest effort in their propaganda war is a new low, even for ASH.

Not satisfied with blaming SHS exposure for everything from cancer to heart disease to poor school grades, ASH is now trying to convince us that the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel are closet terrorists. The insensitive, and highly offensive, pictures are a not so subtle attempt to associate the tobacco industry with the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in the minds of the public. The anti-smoker fanatics and prohibitionist politicians will eat it up.

The ASH ads are a calculated attempt to equate smokers with terrorists, to build on the growing intolerance of smokers which ASH, and the organizations with which they are allied, have fostered over the years; simple hate-mongering at it’s brazen best.

But, having visited the ASH web site, I can’t say I’m surprised. They describe themselves as “a national legal-action antismoking organization entirely supported by tax-deductible contributions.” Strange; they don’t say from whom?

Among other things, ASH encourages companies to fire or refrain from hiring smokers, to brand smoking parents as child abusers and to deny smokers rental accommodation in multi-unit apartment buildings. They also endorse legal action against doctors who fail to advise their patients of the danger of smoking, and endorse efforts to have smokers banned from being foster parents. Members are counseled to sue tobacco companies for just about anything.

And, unfortunately, they, and others of their ilk, are having some success in their efforts to convince the populace that smokers are a self-destructive, sub-human species.

And, if we're not careful, they could also convince us that two plus two equals five. George Orwell’s prognostications (from his novel -1984) weren’t wrong after all; merely delayed a few years in their implementation.

2 comments:

Yan said...

The attacks on NYC killed 3,000 innocent people. Smoking is directly attributable to a figure of 100X that number of innocent deaths, every year, in the US alone. Maybe that figure doesn't mean much to you, but that's (over) 300,000 mothers, fathers, and grandparents taken from their children EVERY SINGLE YEAR. I'm sure that killing yourself won't bother any of you family members, and it certainly doesn't seem to bother you, but if terrorists set off a bomb in Toronto that killed 300,000+ people, what would you do? Would you put up a website dedicated to the rights of terrorists? You may not see the analogy, you may dispute the figures, you may rant in the name of personal freedoms and quote George Orwell; but to the dead and dying, and their families, it really doesn't matter whether it was a terrorist or Joe Camel that murdered them.

The Old Rambler said...

Yan,

If you don’t understand the difference between the atrocity of 911 and the statistical deaths associated with smoking, perhaps you should continue your research.

I do dispute the figures; they are statistical illusions, although smoking may contribute to some cancer deaths. Easily twice the number of non-smokers die every year from the same “smoking related” diseases.

I have quoted George Orwell because his writing demonstrates the fragility of freedom, how easily it can be wrested from the unwary and the severity of the consequences.

The website is not dedicated to smokers per se. I “rant” to protest the unwarranted intrusion on personal liberty which the war on smokers represents.