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Frank Davis

Banging on about the Smoking Ban

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Bloody Cigarettes
DP has already posted up this video, and Leg-iron has commented on it, but I thought I'd repost it.

It reminds me a little of the 10:10 "Your Choice" video, where anyone who was sceptical about global warming was blown up. This one is similarly violent. Smoking a cigarette is portrayed as being no different from punching yourself in the face. And offering anyone else a cigarette or smoking a cigarette in a room with other people is no different from punching them in the face.

Probably, as with 10:10, its producers thought it was funny. But, as with 10:10, they say far more about themselves than they do about smokers. The 10:10 video showed that the people who made it really wanted to blow up climate sceptics, and this new video shows that the people who made it really want to punch smokers in the face.

But it also shows how distorted their thinking about smoking has become. For smoking a cigarette is in no sense equivalent to punching yourself in the face. Smoking a cigarette is a pleasure, not a pain. If smoking a cigarette were no different from punching yourself in the face, nobody would do it. Because nobody punches themselves in the face.

It ends by asking the question: "Do you really want a hit along with your coffee?" Yet a cup of coffee has at least as much of a 'hit' as a cigarette - perhaps more. If this had been an anti-coffee video, the cup of coffee could have been portrayed as poison that was killing the people who drank it. And since coffee has a strong smell, it could also be portrayed as killing everyone else nearby. It's just an accident that it's tobacco rather than coffee that is the target of this video. After all, coffee has had its detractors as well.

All this video really shows is that the people who made it abhor smoking, and want to get more people to think the way they do. But the real message of it, for many people, will be just how utterly twisted and distorted the way they think about smoking really is.

And that's why it should, like 10:10, get the widest possible airing.

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I keep reading and hearing about the Obesity Epidemic ( like it was a virus or a bug) if a lot of the fat bastards started smoking regularly they wouldn't crave so much to eat. Two things have helped to create this "epidemic" Banning smoking and making it antisocial and the fact that it is nearly impossible to buy anything that is not "Lite" (can't even spell!!) or 97% fat free. When I grew up we ate chips cooked in lard and lots of stodgy feed because it was cheap and there were only a few fatties, nearly everyone smoked from about the age 0f 13. All this "Lite" stuff doesn't contain what our bodies need and crave and so the kids especially just keep on eating it unsatisfied. Give them cigarettes and bread and dripping.

EU Antismoker competition?

Worryingly we Germans appear to have taken the lead in the category "idiotic, tasteless video ads promoting non-smoking" by producing this.

But then, Germany also still has Bundeslaender in which the introduction of a total smoking ban (so far) has been politely declined. Perhaps the anti-smoking lobby intends to insult the population of these Bundeslaender.

And, it is not far fetched to speculate about how much the anti-smoking lobby wants to punch us - it actually has happened in Germany..... Sad.

Very similar to the other video a while ago with a guy in an alley being beaten up by invisible assailants. That was also an anti-smoking ad about as nauseating as the one posted. I'm still unable to understand the swivel-eyed insanity over smoking a bit of tobacco leaf yet the vast majority of the population will turn a blind eye to such things as over 2000 nuclear explosions since 1945, Big Pharma and the NHS killing hundreds of thousands of people every year, pollution from transport and industry, and the use of depleted uranium weapons on unarmed civilians. Cognitive dissonance par excellence. Humanity is finished if we think smoking tobacco is evil but it's ok to annihilate brown skinned people based on lies and propaganda. I gave up hope for this species a long time ago. I'm just waiting for the lights to be turned off.


Just as a little aside, and a sort of dim light at the end of a very, very long, dark tunnel - has anyone noticed how the latest "batch" of anti-smoking ads on TV - the ones where they have a non-smoker and a smoker racing against each other running up stairs or for a cab etc (no prizes for guessing who, predictably, wins every time!) are sponsored by Pfizer, rather than, as previously, produced by the DoH. I say a light at the end of the tunnel because although it's a pain that they're re-appearing again after a nice long break, it shows that the government are no longer paying for this stuff using public funds - or at least they're not stumping up as much cash for them as they used to (which may, as I have mentioned before, account for ASH's increasingly shrill yelps for attention - now largely ignored, post-ban).

Interestingly, however, all the latest anti-alcohol ads still seem to be produced by the DoH or the Met Police with no sponsorship deals in place. So - anyone care to hazard a guess as to what the next health "baaaad-ass boy" is going to be? Now that anti-smoking is just soooooo last year, dahling!

All the signs are there, all you non-smoking drinkers out there ........

Thoughts on This Ad

-There's no market for a quiet cafe' to co-exist with people beating up themselves and/or others. While there is a market for both quiet cafes and mutually agreed upon participation in violence, these markets don't take place in the same space for the same reason that you don't find an ultimate fighting match going on in the middle of a book shop.

-Due, in part, to the point I made above, this TV ad is intended to make an analogy, but it's really just creating an odd juxtaposition. The ad uses two young women specifically because this is intended to add to the juxtaposition. If the ad instead involved two young men, it would probably come off as being funny rather than shocking.

-Notice that anti-smoking ads almost always now resort to not letting the viewer know what the ad is supposed to be about until the very end, usually in the form of some captioned message. (In this ad, the caption is "DO YOU REALLY NEED A HIT ALONG WITH YOUR COFFEE?") I'm sure this is done, first, in the hope that smokers, in particular, will watch the ad rather than tuning out of yet another anti-smoking lecture. Second, it's done because anti-smoking propagandists fully believe how smart and right they are, and they like to try and show off their taste for shock and irony. Creatively, shock and irony tends to come rather cheap, especially in a short ad.

-I'm willing to bet that a double-digit percentage of the people who watched this ad didn't even have a clue what it was supposed to be about.

-I haven't checked out the smoking demographics in Austria, but smokers tend to be people who don't have a lot of money. Statistically speaking, smokers usually aren't people who hang out in cafes where the guy at the next table is reading the "arts" section of the newspaper and the waiter wears a tie that he tucks into his shirt.

-Anti-smokers often employ non-existent analogies to try and get their point across, and this TV ad is another example. Bars, cafes, and restaurants aren't places where smoking is irrational. To the contrary, the very existence of such gathering places is almost synonymous in its history with the popular historical introduction of tobacco. It's simple common sense that adults don't want an environment and institution that sprung up hundreds of years ago for the purpose of imbibing to be a place for rules and regulations. The intended analogy in this ad, which is smoking having something to do with people purposely doing physical harm to themselves and others, has nothing to do with the actual reasons that people gathered in these places for hundreds of years in the first place.

-This is the kind of ad for which anti-smoking will be congratulated in magazines for its clever and creative approach. Meanwhile, the only people this ad will resonate with is probably the small percentage of educated young women above median income who are easily frightened and already smoking with guilt.

-Anti-smoking propagandists are becoming elitist and incestuous. It appears that they're more interested in being patted on the back for creating ads that will only impress those who fund them than coming up with any ad that has anything to do with most actual smokers. This TV ad, in particular, seems to be designed to encourage people who probably already dislike smoking to dislike it even more, with the additional element of portraying smokers as being inclined to violence and irrationality. The ad is designed to make "high class" people (or people who desire to be "high class") fear that their smoking is socially unacceptable in "cafe' society".

- The entire scenario of this ad only takes place because anti-smoking activists (in cooperation with government) have propagated fictional fears regarding tobacco smoke. If these irrational worries hadn't been put in place to begin with, it would be an entirely normal and expected occurrence for two women to be sitting together talking and smoking in a cafe. Only a decade ago, the nearby guy reading the "arts" section probably wouldn't have fluttered an eyelid. Now, he has fictional splattered blood on his shirt; the intended meaning to be that being exposed to tobacco smoke is the same as having your white shirt permanently ruined by blood spray.

Re: Thoughts on This Ad

Anti-smoking propagandists are becoming elitist and incestuous.

The same would seem to be the case with global warming ads like 10:10 Your Choice. A lot of people were involved in making it, and they all seem to have thought it was very funny. It was only when people outside the charmed circle got to see it that criticism rapidly mounted, and it was withdrawn.


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