virus: Re : AIDS MEME : Smoking is cool

Hakeeb A. Nandalal (
Tue, 12 Nov 1996 02:03:33 +0000

Ken Pantheists wrote :-

> "Smoking is cool."
> That's a meme that ultimately destroys its host.
> .....

I'd like to add "Drinking" and "Doing Drugs" to that list. Then there's sugar,
fat and salt. These things kill people but the Memetic Machinery geared towards
promoting them way outguns the Memetic Machinery for education about them.
The bottom line is : Money.

Stephen I look forward to reading your article, in the meantime I threw this
together to warm up the crowd :-

NO SMOKE Software From Autonomy Publishing


* "The tobacco industry breaks its own code by placing billboards within
500 feet of schools and playgrounds."

* "Smoking advertising persists in linking smoking to economic success
and sex appeal."

* "Cigarette advertising only shows healthy, energetic people. When's the
last time you saw a healthy, energetic smoker?"

* "The cigarette makers hook 60% of their customers before they are 14
years old."

* "The cigarette industry uses its "efforts" to keep kids from smoking to
present smoking to kids as the "adult" thing to do. This promotes
smoking among young people."

* "The tobacco industry does virtually nothing to prevent retailers from
selling cigarettes to minors. They say it's the retailers'
responsibility to comply with the law."

* "Smoking by teenagers has risen 10% since the camel cartoon character
came on the scene."

* "The tobacco industry loses 5000 customers a day. 3500 quit, the other
1500 die. They spend huge amounts of money trying to make up for these

* "Each year, American cigarette companies spend $11 million on
advertising and promotion."

* "Cigarette companies are getting people in third world countries hooked
by linking smoking to the glamorous "American" life style."

* "Young women in cowgirl outfits hand out free cigarettes to teenagers
at rock concerts and discos in Eastern Europe and give out free gifts
to the kids who accept the cigarettes."

* "At a high school in Buenos Aires, a woman wearing khaki safari gear
hands out free cigarettes to 15- and 16-year-olds on their lunch

* "Cigarette companies sponsor rock concerts and sporting events (with
large audiences of young people) to get around broadcast advertising

* "Tobacco companies increase demand and brand exposure by selling
clothing and other fashionable products, mostly to young people."

* "Children all over the third world are given clothing imprinted with
cigarette brand logos."

* "Every day in the USA, more than 3,000 teenagers start smoking
regularly, and more girls than boys are starting."

* "Four out of five teenagers admit to buying cigarettes as a result of
tobacco company promotions."

* "Per capita cigarette consumption in the developing world has risen on
average by more than 70% during the last 25 years due to tobacco
industry campaigns."

* "After American tobacco companies came on the scene, smoking rates
among male Korean teenagers rose from 18% to 30% in just one year. The
rate in teenaged girls increased from less than 2% to nearly 9%."

* "Tobacco lobbies have used "free trade issues" to force the American
government to open up foreign markets all over the world to American

* "Can you believe it? The tobacco industry still DENIES the connection
between smoking and illness. They tell us "the facts aren't all in."

* "Studies have found that the more cigarette advertising a magazine
carries, the less likely it is to publish anti-smoking articles. And
cigarette advertising is still the #2 generator of magazine ad


The NO SMOKE Programming Screen

Here are a few examples of the programming you will free yourself from:

* You smoke because you saw adult role models smoking when you were

* You smoke because it once made you feel independent of authority.

* You smoke because cigarette advertising gives you a good feeling.

* You smoke because you relate to the image of people who smoke in movies
and on television.

* You smoke because you think it's sexy.

* You smoke because you are too weak to quit.

* You smoke because it makes you feel like an individual.

* You smoke because you relate positively to sports events or concerts
sponsored by tobacco companies.


April 1996 issue of the Journal of Marketing

The Last Straw? Cigarette Advertising and Realized Market Shares Among
Youths and Adults, 1979-1993

The authors test the hypotheses that parameters of advertising sensitivity
for adolescents are significant and perhaps larger than those for adults.
Cigarette brand shares of advertising voice are found to be significantly
related to realized market sh ares, with advertising sensitivity being about
three times larger among teenagers than among adults.


First, identity formation and advertising attentiveness adolescence is a
time of identity formation, which makes teenagers especially attentive to
both advertising and peer group influences for cues concerning symbols of
adulthood and acceptance. Altho ugh adolescents pay only scant attention to
warnings (Fletcher et al. 1995), they use advertising imagery as a window
into the adult world. "Teens are also more susceptible to the images of
romance, success, sophistication, popularity, and adventure which
advertising suggests they could achieve through the consumption of
cigarettes" (Nichter and Cartwright 1991, p. 242).


The BADvertising Institute
Why would anyone want to smoke?

And using the grim psychology of emotional control, the tobacco companies

* foisted the cartoon icon Joe Camel upon unsuspecting children as
unofficial role model for the emerging adolescent
* proffered glamorous images that promise acceptance and acceptability
* entered the world of teenage fashion by instigating clothing gift and
premium programs for heavy smokers
* ensnared the emotions by associating tobacco products with patriotic
symbols, the great outdoors, weight control, sports, freedom,
adventure, independence and sexual conquest
* channeled peer pressure into avenues profitable to themselves


The BADvertising Institute
Truth through contradiction

Cigarette advertisers will never tell the truth. Beautiful, leggy dames
having incessant fun with four or five guys --- smoking is portrayed as an
endless party. The ads promise pleasure, fun and glamour, and their idyllic
images are accepted as a given; they are urban wallpaper. We see them; we do
not question them.


The BADvertising Institute
Rumored to be true:

* Worldwide, tobacco kills more than two and a half million people
prematurely every year. (World Health Organization)
* The Environmental Protection Agency has classified tobacco smoke as a
class "A" carcinogen, along with such poisons as benzene and asbestos.
(Environmental Protection Agency)
* 45.8 million Americans continue to smoke. (CDC)
* Cigarette disease victims die more than twenty years before the life
expectancy of nonsmokers. (Centers for Disease Control)
* Each year smoking kills more Americans than alcohol, cocaine, crack,
heroin, homicide, suicide, automobile accidents, fires and AIDS
combined. (Centers for Disease Control)
* In addition to lung cancer and emphysema, smoking is associated with
cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, uterine
cervix, kidney and bladder. (American Cancer Society)
* The total state and federal excise tax on tobacco products is $9
billion. That's one tenth of what it costs us to take care of smokers
as they die. (C. Everett Koop, MD)


What more can I say? Smoking sucks. Next post : ALCOHOL.

A preview :-


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome




Hakeeb A. Nandalal
"Nothing unreal exists"