Friday, January 13, 2006

Smoke and Death and Elmo


I have a few lovely things to share with you today.

First, there's this ad campaign (pictured) that graphically demonstrates how gross it is to kiss a smoker. Even as a (mostly) non-smoker, I really don't find kissing smokers to be that gross. However, I think ads like this are a positive thing in the end. Anything to get people, especially kids, to stop or never start smoking, is worth doing...even if it's government money funding the campaign. Some people disagree: see The London Fog's post about this, and the heated debate which followed in the comments section. I think it comes down to the fact that smoking kills people. People need to know that, so that they can make an informed decision about whether to smoke or not. An attention-grabbing, and hilarious, ad campaign like this can at least get people thinking about it. I think part of the government's responsibility is to educate people about objective facts, so I have no problem with government money being spent on stuff like this. You go, government.

Second, also courtesty of The London Fog, are two stories of products being tampered with at the factory, with hilarious results. Here is a story about a talking Elmo doll which asks kids "who wants to die?" And here is a story about a person who opened their brand new sealed iPod package, only to find raw "mystery meat" inside.

The theme of this post is: "Things which were cute, but then made extremely creepy by death and/or raw meat."

....yeah, iPods are cute.


6 comments:

Cesillya said...

I'm kind of a smoker myself but.. I think the best way they could advertise non-smoking would be to put a picture of someone who died from lung cancer, on every pack, along with pictures of their surviving family members.

Phronk said...

That is really one of the best ideas I've heard in a while. Sadness and sympathy would probably be more effective emotions to target than disgust.

Harry J. Sachz said...

(counterpoint) i haven't met a person in my entire life that doesn't understand that smoking is bad for health... it's not a question of reaching out to the public with gobs of information, as if they needed more reasons not to; but the smoking industry is the only business that faces that level of government censorship...

alcohol is only limited to "can't drink from the bottle in advertisements" - whereas tobacco has actual anti- campaigns against them... they're a business just like any other company and people aren't being forced to purchase their product... people still have free will as far as i understand...

.. i'm not pro-smoker, but i thought i'd offer an opposing side...

Phronk said...

I can certainly see things from that perspective too. But, to offer a countercounterpoint:

1) Most adults know that smoking is bad, whether they do it or not. But what about kids? They probably know it's bad, but not on the same level...the level of losing people you love to lung cancer. While it should be parents' jobs to educate their kids, not all parents are competent, and a little government assistance doesn't hurt.

2) There are anti-alcohol campaigns. Especially for the most dangerous consequence of alcohol, drunk driving. I'd never suggest taking away peoples' rights to drink or smoke, or the producers right to advertise their products (the 'can't drink on TV' law is pretty dumb)....but the same should go for people who are against it. They should be able to provide their views, so that more people can make informed decisions.

I suppose my main point here is that putting more information out there, as long as it's accurate (and it's arguable whether "kissing a smoker is gross" is a factual statement), is never a bad thing.

And hey, while we're talking about smoking...why is marijuana still illegal? What nonsense.

Harry J. Sachz said...

Your points ring true... I didn't think about it from the kid's point of view...

The amount of anti-smoking campaigns that make their way onto my tv are more than plentiful and alot of them are borderline disturbing... One that stands out in my memory - They had an empty lot in a large city, say Chicago, and they dumped body bag after body bag on top of each other to make a pile that stood at least a few stories high, well inside the public's view... Somehow this was to prove that smoking kills alot of people each year... Now, i understand 'the passing of health information' to those that are unaware, but there's no reason to make me have nightmares in the process... That doesn't really prove anything however, they could have taken the body bags from car crashes, drug overdoses, suicides, etc. just the same - those kill alot of people as well... The "Truth" campaign, as they call themselves, seem to be on my tv more often than the simpsons are (that's a hell of alot)

My grandmother and grandfather both recently passed of health problems directly associated with smoking, so i know that inhaling chemicals and tar is obviously a bad thing and it has changed my life personally; but smoking was their choice... If they wanted to make a conscious effort to stop, there are paths you could take to help quit; but you have to want to stop...

99% of kids smoke because of peer influence... It's not after they see a cartoon camel when they're a toddler and want to light up... They're a business out to make money, and they should be able to advertise as such... We should stop blaming everyone else for our problems...

ok, and with that i'll finish the smoking topic.. Sum up: Smoking bad, anti-advertisements are unnecessary and disturbing, kids need to be better informed...

Marijuana should be legal, however, it should be completely government controlled... The amount of jobs and revenue that they'd receive would pick up the economy real fast... It has similar influences as alcohol and should be treated as such...

k, i'll shut up now :P

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