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Friday, 28 February 2014

The Toxic Cycle of the anti smoking industry

My eyes have been opened to the dishonesty and corruption of the politics that the anti smoking industry practises by watching their antics recently in getting their desperate Tobacco Control Directive through the European Parliament. Especially how Article 18, hidden in the directive, was manipulated and given a split vote at the very last minute before MEP's could get their heads together. Shamefully clever. Shameful!

I hardly believe a word they spout anymore - about vaping or smoking or any of their statistics and manipulations. They disgust me.

In January, I complained  to the Advertising Standards Authority about an anti-smoking advert I saw on the BBC put out by the NHS. I cannot find it on the internet now but there is a similar one in the cluster below. The ad showed cigarette smoke infecting the blood with black tarry substance and spreading to the brain. Visually, this is a lie. And a terrible nocebo to anyone viewing it. Furthermore, it raises questions about blood transfusions received from smokers. I got a template letter back today from the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH that showed my complaint wasn't the only one! I found what it revealed quite interesting. Here it is. (My underlining and bold)

While we acknowledged that the imagery in the poster ad that showed a pool of blood and tar would be difficult for some passers-by, the anti-smoking context was clear. Although we sympathised with any children who had found the ad disturbing and acknowledged the concern of those with blood-related phobias, the ad was deliberately hard-hitting to raise awareness about the serious health consequences of smoking. In this context, the image was unlikely to be seen as irresponsible by appearing in an untargeted medium.  

Someone else must have complained about this poster which I haven't seen. But the justification for  visual violence is not good enough for me. This is the department of health speaking! Who are they to trivialise this complaint in support of anti tobacco ideology!
 
With regard to the TV ad, we felt that viewers were likely to understand that the depiction of black contaminants was illustrative only; a visual representation of the movement of 'blood that's thick and dirty with toxins'. They were unlikely to be misled about the effect of smoking on the blood or be dissuaded from accepting a blood transfusion where one was recommended or necessary on that basis.

My complaint was about implanting a horrific image in peoples' minds. The idea of nocebo, self fulfilling prophecy is obviously unknown to these people - our department of health - ignorant.

While the pool of blood in the poster ad could be said to carry a resemblance to the map of Afghanistan, this interpretation was not alluded to in either the language or context of the ad.  On this basis we considered that the resemblance, although unfortunate, was co-incidental and unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to members of the Afghan community.

Ah - a map of Afganistan?  Interesting. And they apologised? Naaaa. Offence? Obviously.

While we understood that the ads might be unsettling for some, we noted that they carried an important health message.  The hard hitting imagery in the ads was not unreasonable given the serious nature of the issue being addressed. We concluded that the ads were unlikely to cause excessive distress, or serious or widespread offence.

Here are a cluster of anti smoking ads put out by The NHS (UK National Health Service) You will notice how violent they have become as the desperation of the anti smokers grows because smokers are STILL smoking. The modern videos are nothing short of vicious, inaccurate, desperate, shocking, offensive, abusive to the viewer - no, truly criminal nocebos and acts of violence on our minds. This is what we can expect when their attention turns to vaping - as it will. Did I hear you say "Vapers have the moral high ground"? Vaping is the new smoking. Smoking has to be stamped out. The anti smoking industry will find a way. The EU tobacco directive political shenanigans this week, shows it.

1999(Dad washing up in yellow rubber gloves)
2008(Jungle Book)

2012 (creeping smoke)
2012 (news report on cigarette growing a tumour and video)

2013 (Toxic Cycle) (not the same as the one I saw which was more graphic and longer)