Rant about smoking and injustice

Michael Stuart Kelly

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(Kat liked my recent rant on Solo, so she asked me to put it here. Actually, I like the idea of a rant forum. I'M MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! :evil:)

I watch very little TV, but when I do, I keep seeing a series of ads that simply turns my stomach and gets me awfully riled up.

I see cigarette companies advertising "no smoking" commercials - ones on how to quit, how to talk to your kids about not starting, and so forth.

I know that this was a part of a court settlement, but it comes off as pure insanity.

I am no friend to smoking, having smoked fourteen years of my life - seven smoking, seven stopped, then seven more smoking. Now I don't know how many years it has been since I quit.

Also, I don't like smoke in places where I have to breathe. I had a very close friend who used to play tuba in Brazil. He was one of the healthiest people I knew - didn't drink alcohol, didn't smoke, ate only healthy foods and exercised regularly. But he lived in a small apartment and his wife smoked. He practiced his tuba there. He was only 3 or 4 years older than I was, yet he died of lung cancer a couple years ago. His wife is still alive and still smoking. I think that the way he had to force his lungs for playing such a large instrument made him more fragile and susceptible to the toxic effects of secondary smoke than normal people.

My friend's case is an exception, though. I consider secondary smoke an inconvenience and irritation, not an outright assault.

I consider addiction to cigarettes bad, but not immediately devastating. It is a slow killer and essentially anti-life. Still, it is not an assault because people are not forced to do it - and it does provide pleasure.

What these tobacco companies are forced to do, however, IS AN ASSUALT ON THE INTEGRITY OF EVERY REASON-LOVING INDIVIDUAL.

What the hell does the government think it is doing? If it wanted to punish tobacco companies, then shut them down. Fine them. Hell, bring on the tanks and blast them off the face of the earth. (No, I'm not really advocating that!)

But making them pay to tell people not to use their products is nonstop public humiliation and, in the final analysis, pure hypocrisy. What justification does the USA government use to say that it is enforcing justice by turning a peaceful productive company into a hypocrite? By making it sponsor its own suicide? I try to understand, but I just don't get it.

This is pure madness. It goes beyond liberal concerns, beyond altruism, even beyond normal irrationality.

And what about the people who take money from a company like Phillip Morris to produce professional advertisements to convince people not to use its products? Dayaamm! Are they thinking about retiring there? Where is the money going to come from? What company will be left if they are successful?



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I agree. The whole thing with the companies having to badmouth their own product is completely absurd. Why should anyone, even large corporatation, have to act as their own destroyer? Blank-out.

The reason a company advertises a product that they have made is to sell the product, generate more demand for the product and give their company's product a larger market share.

Everyone knows smoking is bad for you and having tobacco companies tell people through paid advertising to quit smoking and stop buying the product they are selling is certainly not in their best interests. It's a fucking joke. They are fools for doing it and someone should have had the balls to say no - this is insane. Maybe that would be contempt of court, who knows? And I am also wondering how much money the government is giving out in subsidies to tobacco farmers while hanging the evil capitalists out to dry?

Quitting smoking is not a huge deal. People do it everyday without the help of those do-good tobacco companies who are greatly concerned for everyone's health. *cough* As many know, I quit smoking after just talking to Michael on the phone one day. This was even before we met. Without laying on the usual bull about how horrible it is, he made me think about how it could be incompatible with things that have a higher value to me. It was amazing. Smoking suddenly had zero value.

The public humiliation campaign against the tobacco industry is nanny government at its finest. They are banning smoking everywhere and it will probably be illegal in Chicago within the next year. It is already illegal in restaurants and other places. One of the big reasons I quit was because it basically wasn't being allowed anywhere. Who wants to be at a bar or restaurant and have to go out side in zero degree weather to feed the habit? I say keep it legal. People are not idiots.


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Mike and Kat,

I think the situation is even worse. There are many "ads" from this or that organization, presumably "volunteer" or "citizen" based that propagandize for this or that: " stop smoking", "clean environment", "childrens safety" that I believe are funded by tax money. I've also read that even sit-coms are encouraged to "write in" endorsements for this or that government program or politically correct stance in exchange for lighter censorship of their content. Sorry I don't have any "proof" of this but I've read about it somewhere and I wouldn't put it past the "powers that be". Please convince me that this is an "urban legend" and I will sleep better.

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The situation is ridiculous. Go easy on me if I'm missing some huge point, but I don't think the tobacco companies should have to advertise against themselves. They can advertise for their product, and someone else, be it state or independent could have their own ad campaign, and let the people decide between the two options--like in a good capitalist society. People are not idiots, and anyone can see that the company wouldn't be advertising against itself unless the government was forcing it to. Many people would think that it's an infringement on some right, if the government's forcing someone to say something against what they want or believe, which in turn makes the government look bad. It's pointless.

And as to the quid pro quo actions regarding sit coms or whatever, I don't know if that's true or not. But I wouldn't be surprised.

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I'm motivated to do a little research on my previous speculations. I've so far found one interesting article here:


This article is actually PRO government but looks like it does a good job of backround of government in media. Gotta go now. More later.

Inky, like your picture. Is there going to be a gallery of your stuff? I remember your picture from solohq. Great! You have talent to spare. Runs in the family I hear.

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Inky,  like your picture.  Is there going to be a gallery of your stuff?  I remember your picture from solohq.  Great!  You have talent to spare.  Runs in the family I hear.

Knowing mom, there probably will be. But I've mostly been designing things for people of late, so I haven't had much time to actually draw anything. Which reminds me...I need to design the logo for this site. And perhaps redesign the whole forum, but that'll come later, I think.

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This is a little off topic of the rant, but the kitten makes the momma Kat purr. Inky just won a contest to design some artwork for another website. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Now back to your regularly scheduled rant.


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Sorry about that, but the boards are still young and we're just getting to know each other, so I think we have an excuse to be a little casual at first. I've started an introduction thread, though, so now hopefully that won't be so much of a problem?

However, if we want the threads to be very "to the point" you might want to say that somewhere. Forum rules thread, perhaps? Just a suggestion.

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Still researching. Here's a scary site:


This is the "Center for Regulatory Effectiveness" in Washington DC

Some of their Topics:

"Regulation by Litigation" ("Regulation by Litigation is the use of Federal litigation by private or public parties to achieve policy goals that could not be achieved through the legislative or regulatory processes."

"Regulation by Appropriation" ("In Regulation by Appropriation, the CRE addresses administrative controls placed on the rulemaking process throughout the U.S. government over the last decade. These controls have given federal agencies incentive to seek alternative methods of regulation, such as through the appropriations process.")

"Regulation by Information" ("Regulation by Information is one of three types of Off-Register Regulation identified by the CRE. In Regulation by Information, the CRE addresses agencies' use of the internet as a powerful new regulatory tool,..")

Very brave souls enter here...


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  • 2 weeks later...

Many states never used any of the billions in tobacco co. payout money at all. Others used them not for anti-smoking ads, etc., but to help balance their budgets, pay bills, etc. State governments are now in the unenviable position of needing more people to smoke in order to keep their revenue stream. Go figure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I heard Michael Fumento (the guy who writes in criticism

of "junk science") on a local radio talk show yesterday,

and he claimed that an hour (?) of exposure to second-

hand smoke in an enclosed room is the equivalent to

several ONE-THOUSANDTHS of the effect that a smoker

gets from smoking a cigarette. Now, I know there has to

be some kind of threshhold for emphysema and lung

cancer, but that would seem to be way below it :!:

Yes, cigarette smoke is irritating, but so are lots of things

that are still legal, such as obnoxious perfumes (not to

mention some people's b.o.) and the omnipresent

breaking-of-wind (always a delight in closed spaces

such as airplanes and dressing rooms -- not!). And I

do realize that some people are hyper-sensitive to

cigarette smoke. But the supposed rationale for the

bans on smoking is not to help the small number of

truly allergic people, but to "save" us all from lung

cancer, isn't it? And if so, then the smoking bans are

all a big fraud.

If there were any rationale for banning smoking

in closed in places, it would seem that its supporters

would rest easy now that they have ended it in all

public restaurants, bars, etc. in California. Yet, now

they're trying to end smoking outdoors at

beaches and places like lines for movie theaters :?:

I don't smoke, and I don't allow smoking in my own

residence (don't like smoke any better than dog fur),

but for the life of me, I don't see how it's my right

or anyone else's to tell people not to smoke outdoors

in public. Sheesh!

Oh...and cheers!


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  • 3 months later...

This is just an idea but...

Do you think that there is a possibility that the tobacco companies are happy that they are able to advertise in some form on t.v. since they have been banned in the '70's

Smoking is an irrational habit. I do not know of anyone who smokes that doesn't know that it will eventually kill you. (I am sure there are some exceptions), but people smoke anyhow. So it would seem like the message (which is intended for smokers) is ineffective while the company gets to get thier company name in at the end. (Boy those cigarettes are killing me, but those people at Phillip-Morris really care about me!)

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