how dumb were people 20 years ago???

August 17, 2011 9:40pm
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This whole thing about the tobacco companies being forced to use discouraging packaging on cigarettes kind of confuses me. Today I read an article where they’re filing a lawsuit saying that it’s unfair, and oddly enough, I think that I actually agree with them…

I mean, yeah, I understand that this is in response to deceptive marketing practices from 20 years ago when they were employing doctors to tell how cigarettes are perfectly fine for people to smoke, even though technically they already were already fined $200 billion as a result of that. And sure, while you may not convert any of the existing smokers, seeing such graphic imagery may very well help to prevent younger and more impressionable stupid people from lighting up … I guess?

Still, I’m not buying any of it because frankly I just don’t see how anybody in their right mind could possibly think that sucking deadly carcinogens directly into their own lungs would be in any way good for them. It’s smoke, and I don’t need somebody with a PhD to tell me that smoking is bad anymore than I need to be reminded not to suck on my car’s tailpipe or stick my head in the oven! I’ll buy that people start smoking from peer pressure or because it looks cool – hell, that’s why I did it for a whopping three months back when I was in high school, and then I made the connection that if I was going to do a lot of scuba diving, maybe I shouldn’t corrupt my life support systems with a disgusting layer of tar, so I quit. I didn’t need a scary package to remind me upon every hit that having a lung collapse 35 feet underwater probably would be a “bad thing.”

I’m all for education and getting the info out there, but just like I wouldn’t expect my bottle of rum to come with a Girls Gone Wild tape to help dissuade girls from binge drinking, I think it’s silly for legislators to demand that the creators of a product be the same people advocating against its use on their own packaging. It’s a lazy attempt at education by simply trying to spook consumers, many of whom are going to continue doing horrible things to their body no matter what kinds of pictures you put in front of them.

I think we’d be much better off simply using all of that settlement money for classroom education and research, and for the ones who still insist on playing chicken with lung cancer, Darwin always seems to have a plan for them, too…

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