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Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Whose Best Interest?

Have you seen the recent Philip Morris commercials that acknowledge smoking as a health risk? The one I just saw tonight said, “To reduce the health effects of smoking, the best thing to do is quit.” Yet, at the same time, their web site also says, “Our core business is manufacturing and marketing the best quality tobacco products to adults who use them.”

I’d love to see a new Truth commercial that mocks Philip Morris’ B.S. of a commercial. Perhaps something that says, “To reduce the health effects of smoking, the best thing to do is for us to completely close shop and quit telling gullible consumers that they should quit smoking, but hey, buy our products anyway because we think they’re better than anyone else’s!”

And while I’m on the subject, if my new apartment neighbor doesn’t quit leaving his damn cigarette butts all over the outdoor breezeway area (completely against apartment rules, by the way), I’m liable to go find a bag full of them and dump them against his front door.

(I bounced this entry off of Chris before posting it, to which he replied, “The last time I looked, tobacco hadn’t been outlawed, and this is a free market economic system we have going.” Permit me to clarify. I’m not saying people shouldn’t have the choice to fill their body with carcinogens, and perhaps it’s best to let Philip Morris mire in their self-created double standard, letting people like me jab insults at the notion. But seriously, telling people “you should quit” and simultaneously telling them “but if you don’t quit, you should buy our cigarettes” just makes no sense. Well, if you disagree with me, I’ve got some widgets I just know you’d want to buy. Of course, they’ll spin out razors and probably kill you if you turn them on, but they’re the best damned widgets money can buy!)

» Posted by ALBj at 12:22 AM (ET)
Category: Rant


Where are your questions, and others’ questions, about the same double standard in anything else that’s bad for us?

What about alcohol advertising? “Responsible adults drink in moderation,” we’re informed in polite small print, and “Enjoy our products with care.” This goes on the bottom of ads that shill their product by showing young people looking utterly fabulous and spouting witticisms while pissing it up at the bar, or making it all laddish fun and games by associating their product with jolly japes on the sports field.

Of course Philip Morris are going to try and sell their product to people who aren’t quitting, just as alcohol companies sell their product to people who don’t drink responsibly. McDonalds’ can keep on telling us all about how we ought to be balancing our diets while flogging SuperDuperValueExtraMeals. Credit card companies can use all the fine print they want to tell us seek advice and don’t get into debt, while they shove that limited-time low low interest rate down our throats.

That’s advertising. It sucks. But it beats a complete lack of warnings or cautions or disclosures, which is where we used to be.

» Posted by Raena Armitage
December 1, 2004 03:18 AM

Hello, Walgreens? Do you have Prince Albert in a can?

This advertising double-standard is almost as bad as the fact that some drug stores sell tobacco products. They obviously don’t have your health in mind, and so I avoid patronizing them.

And remember:

If you’ve got the right to smoke,
I’ve got the right to chew.
If you don’t blow your smoke on me,
I won’t spit on you!

» Posted by Andy McConnell
December 1, 2004 06:18 PM

I used to take a much more “do as you want” attitude towards these things, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that stupid things people do (such as smoke, driving drunk, etc) end up affecting my rights tremendously when A) my risk for lung cancer goes up from second hand smoke, B) my insurance rates go up because some yahoo’s insurance has to shell out big bucks for an untimely demise, etc. Sorry, but your stupidity CAN take away my rights.

» Posted by Queue
December 8, 2004 03:09 AM

I’m sure that the millions of people without health insurance would love to discuss the ‘right’ to not be bilked on premiums.

» Posted by Raena Armitage
December 8, 2004 03:40 AM

Sorry, due to comment spam abuse, new comments on this entry are closed until I find time to upgrade Movable Type and enable registration and moderation.