March 26, 2006

Those Clever, Evil, Bastards...

Full disclosure: I used to be a pack-a-day-plus smoker. I'm glad I quit. It's a nasty habit.

That said, smokers are not evil. And while Cigarette companies may be evil, let's face it--they're no more evil than other groups that keep pushing products that they know will be harmful--Pharmaceutical companies, McDonalds, Burger King, Hostess, etc. But you wouldn't know that from the commercials that have been on lately.

Now I agree, the anti-smoking brigade had a point about the Joe Camel character. But even so, smoking has always been portrayed as "cool," ever since Bogie, James Dean, Charles Boyer, etc. dangled smokes from their respective lips. It hardly took a cartoon character to tell kids that.

But now I feel like the anti-smoking message has gone a little too far, and that those behind it are making statements every bit as untruthful as the ones made by big tobacco. The most recent one I saw claims to prove that cigarette companies are still marketing to kids because when they hang their signs on a store counter "it just happens" to be at a child's eye level. Do I even need to point out that it also "just happens" to be at that level because the counter is the optimum height for exchanging money, placing purchases, bagging purchases, etc?

At this point, anyone, even a young anyone, who still thinks smoking is good for you is either stupid or a supermodel. This new claim just makes no logical sense at all. It's like saying that God supports pedophelia becuase He cleverly made adult genitalia at a child's eye level. It's called a doubtful cause fallacy, which is what happens when you try to establish a causal relationship between things that don't necessarily have one.

Why do I even care? Well, I guess because I'm a libertarian, and I'm getting tired of borderline-fanatical groups who, when they can't reach their agenda through legislation, often go to extremes to demonize any person/corporation that disagrees with them. (And while I'm at it, the legislators themselves are often pussies becuase they'll tax the things into oblivion, but they won't have the guts to change the law.) Hey, anti-smoking dickwads...right now, cigarettes are legal. You want to put out commercials that show pictures of diseased lungs, I'm with ya. You want to send out scratch and sniff cards that let smokers know what their clothes smell like, I'm with ya. You want to talk about the diseases caused by smoking (although I think you're full of shit with your second-hand smoke claims), I'm with ya. But c'mon...don't insult my intelligence. What have YOU been smoking?

No comments:

Post a Comment