Thursday, February 25, 2010

Anti-smokers resort to pornographic imagery

Very little about the antics of the anti-smoker crowd shocks me anymore. Not the suspect statistics, the fraudulent science or the hatred and vitriol excreted in their anti-smoker messages. But . . .

It appears that the anti-smoker crowd has reached new lows with the latest manifestation of their hate campaign against smokers. They've now resorted to the use of child pornography to sell their message of contempt for those who smoke, including young people who may experiment with tobacco..

An on-line news item from the Telegraph reports that an anti-smoking organization called “Droits des Non-Fumeurs” (Non-Smokers Rights) has caused an uproar in France with its latest anti-smoking campaign. Droits des Non-Fumeurs admits the ads are meant to shock and are designed to target young people. A spokesperson justified the ads, which critics say trivializes sexual abuse, by claiming “the posters showed neither rape nor abuse”. Huh?

Released earlier this week, the ads show an older man pushing down on the head of a teenager (both male and female) with a cigarette in their mouth, in a position that suggests oral sex. The tag-line reads: "Smoking means being a slave to tobacco".

"The campaign targets young people who see cigarettes as symbols of emancipation, of freedom,” A Droits des Non-Fumeurs spokesperson claims, “when it really causes dependency and submission.” Uh-huh.

But, behind the flowery rhetoric, the message to young people seems quite clear; if you smoke you're a slut or a pervert. They're saying that smoking, like sex, is vulgar and obscene. Young people should feel guilty about their perversion and quit the habit.

But, sexual activity, including fellatio, is not something ugly or demeaning when engaged in by consenting adults. And, while it may be irresponsible for young people to engage in sexual activity for a number of reasons, it is neither immoral nor indecent. Young people should not be taught to be ashamed of their sexual impulses, but rather to deal with them responsibly.

The moralistic, self-righteous bastards responsible for this outrage are trying to lay a guilt trip on impressionable young people by undermining their self-esteem and unforgivably attempting to shame them in the eyes of their peers.

Directing this kind of unethical, anti-smoking propaganda at adolescents and teenagers is loathsome and inexcusable.

There's a damn sight more pressure on kids growing up today than there was when I was a teenager half a century ago. But, there are some things which will never change.

For example, the need for acceptance by one's peers; the need to fit in. This kind of attack on young smokers will do little to discourage the use of cigarettes. It will simply create an “us” versus “them” mentality and generate more unneeded animosity between peer groups.

Fifty years ago, during my teen years, I experimented with booze, smoking and, yes, sex. I discarded the booze some years ago. (OK, OK, I admit it. I still appreciate a good single malt scotch every now and then). But, guess what? Half a century later, kids are still experimenting with those same “vices”.

These are adult frailties; part of the human condition. Remember, kids are ever anxious to breach the bonds of parental authority, to be seen as adults. So, many will continue to experiment with adult behaviours in their rush to “grow up”.

But, we're talking about young people; immature, inexperienced and not fully cognizant of the consequences of their actions. And, surely to God, there are better ways to educate our children about the potential perils of life than this thinly disguised vilification of young people who may choose to experiment with the tobacco habit (or engage in sexual activity).

And, let's not ignore the possibility that this kind of anti-smoker campaign will appeal to the naturally rebellious nature of teenagers and prove counterproductive.

This disgusting, irresponsible campaign by the bottom-dwelling bastards in the Holy Church of the Anti-Smoker deserves the condemnation of responsible parents everywhere.


Richard 23 said...

Living as I do in the United States, a sometimes schizophrenic nation with a puritanical streak, calling something that's suggestive "pornography" or "pornographic" is over the top. And since the anti-smoker groups, while "pro-children" when it comes to the use of props for their propaganda campaigns, don't really have a stance on kiddy porn that I know of, so "porn" isn't the right bludgeon.

Besides if that's porn, I'd hate to think of what the stuff I've viewed has been. American "obscenity" is still defined using magic beans language which boils down to whatever the oldest and most easily offended find offensive is obscenity. So that's NOT porn, however hard the photographer and the a-holes who dreamt this up might have been.

The photos are totally ineffective unless creeping out sane and reasonable people while appealing to people cursed with confused sexual desires (including ironically, sexually abused as teens now adults) was the goal. And if it was just to get publicity for themselves, then they are self-seeking con artists. It does nothing to reduce smoking. Lies and obvious amateur propaganda usually have the opposite effect.

The photos completely miss the mark, slavery? Are we seeing the same picture? So we have two photos of teens (?) in a submissive position, there's either a bit of worry on their faces or is it desire? Maybe it's queasiness due to being in sniffing distance of some guy's area. Under hot lights to get just the right shot, ugh, I don't even want to think about it.

I don't see the slavery bit at all, children are certainly subject to adult whims all the time, even unjustifiable and abusive whims, but what does that have to do with teen smoking? Anything at all?

Finally before I rinse my eyes out with bleach and try to forget this exploitative garbage which will, if anything, encourage more smoking among teens who smoke already, the cigarette could be the hero in the picture, not only is it the only thing keeping distance between the "slave?" and creepy master, but it also gives my eye an escape route away from the groin and off the page.

Has this group ever done anything to actually address the issue of smoking or are they just art fags (a cigarette pun, not a bundle of sticks reference) who fail in every conceivable way?

Art fags until proven otherwise. If they get to avoid taxes like American non-profit do-gooders, tax them until they do what they supposedly exist to do.

If you've got the truth on your side, you present it and let people decide. If repeating the same truth hundreds of times doesn't make you the hero everyone agrees with, sorry, but that's how people are. Deal with it.

When you've got nothing on your side but lies, exaggeration and flopsweat, you peddle propaganda and should be marginalized and shunned by everyone, but especially by people who agree with your issue but dislike being manipulated by lies.


Leg-iron said...

Those antismoking groups are obsessed with children.

Questions should be asked.