Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Beating up smokers


The folks at Freedom2Choose have been successful in getting Birmingham NHS to withdraw a particularly obnoxious anti-smoking commercial (also reported here). If you haven't seen it yet, click to play (it shouldn't be online much longer).




Freedom2Choose objected to it on the basis that it could encourage violence towards smokers. This does not seem to me to be an unreasonable objection. I've written before about the fine line between 'denormalisation' and hate-mongering. In recent years there have been too many incidents of what we might call smoking-related violence. Freedom2Choose presented a list to Birmingham NHS, including:

A non-smoker was jailed for two years yesterday for attacking a “deaf and mute” man who refused to stub out a cigarette.


Wales Online March 19 2008

A 17-year-old student was burned with a home-made flame thrower during a horrifying four-hour torture ordeal, a court heard.

Aerosol cans of air freshener and furniture polish were squirted at Katy James and the jets set alight with a naked flame. She was attacked by a gang of teenagers at the flat they shared in Burcot Lane, Bromsgrove, after her smoking was blamed for Hayley Kirby's miscarriage.

Her hair was set alight and she had to beat out the flames with her bare hands. Perfume was sprayed onto her stomach and also set on fire.

She was battered with a chair until its leg broke, punched, kicked and forced to drink a cocktail of coca-cola, cigarette ends and urine while her tormentors laughed, Worcester Crown Court was told.

Miss James, a vulnerable girl with learning problems, was lured home on March 23 where she was attacked by Kirby, her boyfriend Robert Hart, Wynette Darkes and her boyfriend James Smale. Kirby claimed that on that day she was told by a hospital that smoke in her body had caused her to lose the child, said Nicolas Cartwright, prosecuting. 

Bromgrove Advertiser 18 December 2006

A drinker has taken offence to a fellow drinker lighting up a cigarette in a pub and went to extreme measures to stop him - he shot the smoker in the head, killing him.

The dispute between the 50-year-old gunman and the 35-year-old smoker broke out at the Flash Road Bar in Kwartel Street, Birch Acres, Kempton Park, on Saturday night.

Independent Online 7 December 2004


Authorities allege an argument over smoking led a Brooklyn Center man to slash his wife's throat, severing her tongue and windpipe.

Authorities say Meg Lundeen and her husband, Randy Aaser, visited a couple bars with friends and colleagues to celebrate her 30th birthday Friday night. According to the complaint, she told a friend she wanted to buy cigarettes, but that she had quit smoking and that her husband would be mad if he found out.

Authorities say Lundeen was attacked later at the couple's house.

Associated Press June 13 2007


The case of the 17 year old girl is particularly troubling, since the doctor had no evidence to support his claim that secondhand smoke led to her assailant's miscarriage. This seems to be a case of 'if in doubt, blame tobacco'. Many white lies told about secondhand smoke are justified on the basis that anything that discourages smoking can't be a bad thing. "What harm can it do?", they say. This case shows the harm it can do.

Let's be clear. The responsibility for all of these horrific crimes lies with the people who committed them. But since tobacco control is set on 'denormalision', it must at least recognise the dangers of such state-sponsored stigmatisation and behave responsibly. That means erring on the side of caution and this particular campaign, in my view, oversteps the mark.

Yes, I understand the subtext of this advert, but ultimately it shows someone lighting a cigarette and then being beaten half to death as a result. For some disturbed people lurking in the darker reaches of the internet (I won't link to the sites I have in mind) this video represents some sort of wish-fulfillment. It should have been forseeable that certain individuals would get a frisson of excitement from it. The Department of Health should not be doing anything that might encourage denormalisation to spill over into violence.

I'm not suggesting that people in the public health movement want to personally assault smokers. I wouldn't even suggest that this advert alone could necessarily lead to smokers being assaulted. But it adds to a growing culture of aggression towards people who smoke. 

Above all, I'd like to know what was going through the head of the person who came up with the advert and ask why public money was spent producing it.


[Thanks for Dave and Brenda at F2C for the news reports]



37 comments:

Rollo Tommasi said...

Mr Snowdon – I think you need to check your facts more carefully. In what way have “The folks at Freedom2Choose.... been successful in getting Birmingham NHS to withdraw a particularly obnoxious anti-smoking commercial”? You give no confirmation from the NHS Trust, only a report referring to a press release by F2C. And even Pat Nurse’s account simply states that the Trust already planned to end its campaign after a further 2 weeks and it would remove the video at that time. It also offered to review the video before then, but it appears that review is still ongoing.

I condemn all the violent acts you refer to. But if you try to link the attacks to the smoking laws, then you face a losing battle……as there are also many examples of non-smokers being attacked by smokers. For example:

Youths demand cigarettes from passer-by and attack him – he falls into path of a car and dies: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2435098.ece

Son lights up in her mother’s home and then stabs her when she objects: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/05/18/eurovision-mum-killed-115875-21368137/

Man demands cigarette from passer-by and then sets dog on him: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/3504316.stm

Woman asks smokers at a railway station to stub out and is thrown onto the track: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4469907.ece

I trust you enough to condemn those attacks as much as I do. But if you claim that those attacks were simply the actions of sick individuals and had nothing to do with smoking, then you can hardly accuse the attacks you cite as being in any way due to the smoking laws.

By the way, if you REALLY oppose violence in all its forms, I hope you will condemn a nasty statement made by your friends at Forces International in the light of the last example I gave (the attack on the woman at a railway station):

“The antismoking thugs must learn that there are risks – serious risks – when harassing smokers, and that there will be consequences. When reason and peaceful coexistence fail, the only way left, unfortunately, is the use of force….Antismoking thugs stand warned: when you see someone smoking, leave him alone and move off. If you intervene, the mass media antismoking thugs may paint you as a hero but – if you really care about your health as you claim – bear in mind that you may end up in a hospital.” (http://forces.org/News_Portal/news_viewer.php?id=1393)

Is THAT kind of statement acceptable to you????

Snowdon said...

Rollo,

I condemn any comments that promote violence. If you read my post more carefully you will see that I don't think that this advert is, in itself, likely to provoke an attack. My argument is that it "adds to a growing culture of aggression towards people who smoke", which is something I have written about before.

Of course we can find examples of smokers attacking nonsmokers, nonsmokers attacking smokers and nonsmokers attacking nonsmokers. The question is whether anti-smoking rhetoric plays a part. In the case of the hospital that told the 17 year old's attacker that secondhand smoke caused her miscarriage, there is a clear cause-and-effect there. The attack wouldn't have happened unless the assailant had been led (falsely) to believe that a smoker had caused the miscarriage. That is very different from a thug beating up someone for not giving him a cigarette.

As for whether F2C got the ad pulled, I obviously wasn't at the meeting and so I rely on reports. The first source I link to says "This is yet another victory for the pro-choice movement". The second source says "A National Health Service Trust has agreed not to use a film as part of an anti-smoking campaign after receiving complaints that it was liable to incite violence against smokers".

Maybe you know better, but don't assume the PCT was planning to pull the video from Youtube at the end of the campaign anyway. There are hundreds of old anti-smoking ads on Youtube.

Large Melot Please said...

Hi Rollo,

I trust you are well.

Firstly I need very little prompting to condemn violence by smokers on non smokers. You also omitted the story on the Nigerian boxer shot dead by a scumbag when asked to put out his cigarette.

I am fairly thick skinned and can deal with confrontation from non smokers, as I am more than happy to defend myself.

Alas you only have my word but I was at the meeting and they agreed to pull the ad.

BTW Rollo can you come clean, are you a private individual or do you work for ASH, Dept Of Health etc?


Dave Atherton

Rollo Tommasi said...

Chris: The first words of your blog state “The folks at Freedom2Choose have been successful in getting Birmingham NHS to withdraw a particularly obnoxious anti-smoking commercial”. Now you acknowledge that “As for whether F2C got the ad pulled, I obviously wasn't at the meeting and so I rely on reports.”

So in other words, you actually DON’T know whether F2C were successful, but that doesn’t stop you making your claim. If you had done just a little research, like a good author ought to, then you should have found some glaring holes.

First are the sources of your reports. One is F2C’s own blogspot. The other is a media article which directly lifts a press release issued by F2C through PRLog. This is it here – I found it via Google: http://www.prlog.org/10411925-nhs-trust-removes-latest-antismoking-propaganda.html. Where is the confirmation from the Birmingham NHS Trust? Where is the external verification?

Next, let’s look at the first of the reports you cite. What exactly is the victory here for Freedom2Choose? That the NHS was already planning to end its campaign after a further a 2 weeks and would remove the video then? That it was prepared to review its decision (but I’m certainly not yet aware of its decision)? Or that the F2C delegation asked for the video to be removed immediately – but the Trust refused? I don’t see victory for F2C in any of those scenarios.

As for your second source, note how it contradicts the first report. The second report states that “Freedom2Choose lodged a complaint against the material and upon consideration, the NHS Trust has agreed to remove it from all venues within the next two weeks.” That claim that F2C influenced the Trust’s decision is VERY different from Pat Nurse’s own account on your first source that “They [i.e. the Trust] said they would remove it in two weeks when the campaign ends. I said that was too long and I would like to see it gone immediately.”

So all that leaves you with is an assumption that the Trust would not have pulled the ad from YouTube were it not for F2C’s campaign. You may be right; you may be wrong. We simply don’t know either way. Hardly enough of a case to warrant your blog, now is it?

You try to differentiate the violence committed against the 17 year old from the other attacks. You state in your blog “The case of the 17 year old girl is particularly troubling, since the doctor had no evidence to support his claim that secondhand smoke led to her assailant's miscarriage”. Do you actually know what the doctor said? Did s/he blame only secondhand smoke for the miscarriage or was it one of many factors? How did s/he couch their statement? All you have is a fourth hand (at best) account of their statement.

And you extend the “reasonable cause” argument way beyond any credible level. It is reasonable for a doctor to assume that they can describe the risks of passive smoking behind a condition without fear that smokers will be attacked as a consequence. If you disagree, you need to consider the same situation where other factors are involved. For instance, what about situations where a woman’s genetic make-up or the quality of her partner’s sperm are a risk of miscarriage? Should a doctor avoid disclosing that for fear that the woman’s parents or partner might be attacked as a result? Those are exactly the same kinds of scenario as the one you are trying to create.

Finally, I ask again: Are you prepared to condemn the disgusting remarks made by Forces International? Or are you too cowardly to criticise friends of yours?

Rollo Tommasi said...

Dave A: I’m very well, thank you, and pleased to be locking horns for the first time in a wee while.

I’m glad you condemn violence, whoever perpetrates it and whoever is the victim. Yes, there are other examples too, unfortunately. But I trust you don’t mind if I ask if you too condemn the statement I quoted from Forces International. As someone who opposes violence, I am confident you will condemn it.

Thanks for your account of your meeting. You say “they agreed to pull the ad”. Was that as Pat Nurse described in her account of the meeting, i.e. that “They [i.e. the Trust] said they would remove it in two weeks when the campaign ends”? Or did they undertake to remove it earlier than that as a result of your representations?

Finally, your last question. I’ll try not to sound irritable here, but your friends regularly ask me that. After a while it becomes just a wee bit tiresome constantly having to explain that I am a private individual and I have nothing to do with the Department of Health or ASH (UK or Scotland).
I have to say, I engage in these debates much less frequently than the likes of Colin G, Belinda, Soapy, Chas, Pat Nurse, Fredrik, Dick Puddlecote – not to mention yourself. For instance, I couldn’t afford to attend a meeting in Birmingham. I’ve got more cause to ask if you receipt support from tobacco interests. Yet it is always me who seems to be asked….

Snowdon said...

Rollo,

Let me explain this blogging lark to you. Bloggers get their information from third parties eg. newspapers, journals, other blogs. The blogger then provides links to those sources so that the reader can check them (something you don't get with the MSM).

The source for the F2C report was the F2C blog and Tobacco Reporter magazine. Since then, one of the people who was at the meeting has commented here to confirm what happened and Dr Michael Siegel has posted the story on his blog. So, should I trust all these sources or should I trust a notorious troll making specious arguments under a pseudonym? Hmm, let's see now...

Similarly, the source of the 17 year old miscarriage story is The Bromgrove Advertiser and is hardly a "fourth-hand (at best) account". Now maybe that newspaper is caught up in this vast conspiracy of yours as well but, if so, I would suggest you take up with them.

The rest of your points I have already addressed in my post or my previous reply. You can keep repeating yourself, but I won't.

Rollo Tommasi said...

Chris - Any self-respecting blogger would be prepared to either substantiate their opinions or admit where they might have gone too far.

You have failed to do either.

Pathetic.

Large Melot Please said...

Rollo:

Firsly Chris spoke to me who was at the meeting and it can be viewed as being first hand information.

Secondly, I take your point on the choice of language in that Forces quote. I won't condemn it completely but feel the right to self defence could of been phrased less aggressively.

Thirdly thanks for answering my question.

Regards

Dave

david b said...

Let's be honest, it's a crap film and should be withdrawn for artistic reasons alone. At least they didn't have to pay for it...

The maker, Rankin, actually glorifies smoking elsewhere (for financial gain presumably), including cool pics of Keith Richards, Arnie, other other celebs. Can't be bothered to hunt down the links, but they do exist.

Double standards, or what?

Large Melot Please said...

PS sorry for not answering your other question.

I have not received any payment, expenses directly or indirectly from any tobacco company, full stop, period, end of story.

Rollo Tommasi said...

DaveA: Thanks for having the courage of your convictions to continue chatting with me (unlike our host, who retreats from reasoned and evidence-based counter-evidence with a cry of "notorious troll"!).

I've 2 questions:

1. I'm still unsure about what the Trust agreed to do as a direct result of your representations. According to Pat Nurse, they were already planning to remove the ad from youTube at the end of the campaign 2 weeks hence. All they offered to do was review that decision. Are you saying Pat was wrong and they committed to more?

2. Re Forces International - you say "I won't condemn it completely". Can you please explain to me which bits you don't condemn?

Anonymous said...

Rollo is a little pencil necked punk picking at hairs in a sound argument. Grow up

Belinda said...

I fail to see what your problem is with that statement, Rollo: 'there are risks - serious risks - when harrassing smokers'. Indeed there are serious risks when harrassing anybody, and whether you find that offensive depends on what you count as harrassment.

Since your reaction to the video is that 'we should be prepared to accept' a depiction of gratuitous violence in which a smoker is beaten to a pulp as a means to stop him from smoking, it is clear that you have a very different idea from many of us about what constitutes harrassment.

The plain fact is that when you confront or accost somebody you invite retaliation. Confronting someone about behaviour that has caused their demonisation and ostracisation from societal norms might just be taken the wrong way.

The language might seem threatening, but I don't read it as condoning an agressive response. It is just that when you annoy people without reasonable cause - or without a cause that seems reasonable to the person annoyed - you might just get a reaction.

Rollo Tommasi said...

How wrong your comments are, Belinda.

I am the only one on this forum to condemn violence, whoever the perpetrator (Dave qualified his criticism of Forces while Chris ran away).

Despite your claims otherwise, the Forces article DOES condone an aggressive response. I've seen members of F2C complain when the police or council officers are called to pubs where smoking has occurred. The implication behind those criticisms is "Why couldn't they have dealt with the problems themselves?" Yet, when someone does ask another person not to smoke somewhere they shouldn't, you condone a violent reaction towards them.

Violent responses in these situations is wrong. Full stop.

Belinda said...

You are not the sole arbitor of right and wrong, Rollo. Where did I condone violence?

If I were present in a situation where somebody was being asked not to smoke and took exception to it, I would certainly not recommend violence and do my utmost to dissuade a violent response.

But most of these incidents happen in situations where we are not present. We have no influence over the proceedings.

Violence is wrong, but it has its place in graphic images to dissuade people from smoking - is that it?

Dick Puddlecote said...

"But if you try to link the attacks to the smoking laws"

Fantastic straw man.

Looks like the anti-tobacco industry is getting tetchy about the success of pro-choice blogs. Considering the massive majority of smoke-haters, I look forward to seeing their superior response (as soon as they can understand code, eh?). ;-)

Davidb: Here is the evidence you were looking for, I think.

Snowdon said...

What part of 'I condemn any comments that promote violence' don't you understand? Yes, I think the FORCES piece was over-the-top and I would have toned it down (although what Belinda says is quite valid). However, it didn't use up taxpayers' money and it didn't purport to be the voice of the state. I don't think it would necessarily promote violence in the same way that I don't think the Birmingham NHS ad would necessarily promote violence (as I said in the post).

Unfortunately, instead of reading what people write you just keep changing the subject and building up straw men. I addressed all your (off-topic) points and yet you say I've "run away" from my own blog! Get a grip.

You see, Rollo, I've come across your ramblings on newspaper websites before. Your posts are characterised by an excessively confrontational and adolescent attitude and your arguments are shallow and fallacious. When your arguments are shot down, you change the subject, pick another off-topic subject and carry on ad nauseum. It never ends.

One of your favoured tactics is to use the Nirvana Fallacy and you have displayed that again here - because I wasn't at the F2C meeting I can't report what was said about it; because I wasn't in the room when the doctor spoke to the assailant, I can't quote from the newspaper that reported the incident. You do realise that the tobacco industry used exactly the same Nirvana Fallacy to dispute the smoking-lung cancer link for years, don't you?

And the fallacious arguments just keep on coming. An anonymous editorial on the FORCES website written God knows when is suddenly written by my "friend"! A regional newspaper is a "fourth hand source"! Then come the complete non sequiturs - what was that rubbish about women attacking their husband for having weak sperm? What are you talking about?

It's a pitiful level of debate, but the purpose of it is to deflect attention from the real issue which is that a young woman brutally tortured another young woman because she believed secondhand smoke killed her unborn baby. This is part of a culture of denormalisation that I find unsavoury and dangerous. What do you think of it?

Rollo Tommasi said...

Belinda:

To me you condone violence when you state “The plain fact is that when you confront or accost somebody you invite retaliation”. You choose emotionally charged words “confront” and “accost”. But, however you describe it, if one person approaches another and asks/challenges then to stop smoking in a non-violent way, there is no justification for violence. End of.

On your last sentence, I saw nothing in the video which condoned violence by one person towards another who lights up. In fact there was no person around the smoker. The only “violence” depicted was quite clearly the act of a cigarette. I don’t think any reasonable viewer could see the ad in any other way.

Belinda said...

Rollo

Your reading is inaccurate, and I have explained why. Many people who are smoking in areas where they are expected not to smoke will be doing so in a spirit of defiance. Nowhere have I said that a violent response is correct. But the situation is inevitably emotionally charged on both sides.

With regard to the video, cigarettes don't inflict blows that leave smokers with a bloody face. What the smoker endures in that video is clearly made to resemble a vicious physical assault, in which a reasonably healthy person is reduced to an A&E case (if not killed) within a matter of about 12 minutes. Hardly in any way resembles the impact of a cigarette, does it? If that seems a reasonable comparison to you, I think that speaks for your lack of perspective on the issue.

Can I take it from this that you see no harm in smoking in films, since watching action has absolutely no impact on the viewer?

Rollo Tommasi said...

Chris: I somehow thought I might persuade you to return if I reported your actions on another blog!

Forces comment: All you needed to do was explain your position earlier, instead of running off. My response to Belinda also applies to you.

You describe a debating style which I really don’t recognise in myself. I try to stick closely to the issues at hand. If I wander off-topic, it is usually to respond to someone else’s off-topic post – and I find myself facing those on a regular basis. You may think my comments are shallow and adolescent. I personally believe I try to corroborate my arguments with evidence more than most of my peers, and I only continue to participate in these debates because I have come to believe passionately in what I have learned over a period of time. Hardly the actions of a shallow and adolescent contributor. I’m also intrigued by your claim that I move onto another off-topic post whenever my arguments are shot down. I don’t recognise that in myself either.

Are you really describing the right person? Or is this how you critique anybody who happens to disagree with your views?

I must admit that I’d never heard of the Nirvana Fallacy before tonight. But actually, I don’t recognise that trait in myself. And your use of the examples you give show that you’ve not followed the arguments I’ve given.

You wonder why I challenge your claim (very first sentence) that “The folks at Freedom2Choose have been successful in getting Birmingham NHS to withdraw a particularly obnoxious anti-smoking commercial”. But you don’t know that to be fact. If you had external verification (e.g. confirmation from the NHS trust), then you could. What you have is two pieces of material, both by F2C. If they had been consistent, then you could have justifiably stated “The folks at Freedom2Choose CLAIM THEY have been successful in getting Birmingham NHS to withdraw a particularly obnoxious anti-smoking commercial”. But the 2 documents were not consistent. The press release stated the NHS Trust had changed its position following complaints; but the F2C blog entry said quite the opposite (“They said they would remove it in two weeks when the campaign ends. I said that was too long and I would like to see it gone immediately.”) That is why I think your first paragraph is unjustified.

As for your second example, this is the same as the “fourth hand source” issue. You are basing the entire premise of your argument on a very brief phrase in a newspaper report – and in doing so you are assuming that it EXACTLY reflected what the doctor said to the young woman. But in fact it was a newspaper reporting (in very summarised form) a prosecutor who, through means unknown, was reflecting what a young woman heard the doctor say to her. You have absolutely no knowledge about what the doctor said the causes of miscarriage were or might have been. The detail of what the doctor actually said is crucially important in demonstrating whether was indeed cause-and-effect.

And I would argue that the doctor’s words would have to be really strong for cause-and-effect to be justified. That’s where my analogy about a woman’s genetic make-up or the quality of her partner’s sperm comes in. I personally think the analogy is highly apposite, as it shows how we expect that doctors should be able to discuss these causes of miscarriage with patients without fear that parents or the partner might be assaulted as a result.

Rollo Tommasi said...

Belinda - It is up to the person who chooses to be defiant to do so in a controlled way, just as it is for the person challenging them. Self-proclaimed righteous anger is no excuse to resort to violence when someone else objects to your actions. If someone acts in a defiant way genuinely without any intention of violence and someone else challenges them genuinely without any intention of violence, then neither party should throw the first blow.

Violence cannot be condoned. By either side.

Belinda said...

I never said it could be condoned, Rollo.

What about admitting that no cigarette will knock a person out in 12 minutes, and that the video is made to resemble an assault by one person on another?

Rollo Tommasi said...

Oops – issued before dealing with your other comments. As I have stated on another post, the ad is not designed to influence non-smokers like me or smokers who have no intention of quitting (which is where I suppose you presently are). It is designed to influence a particular group of Birmingham residents (middle-aged men in less well-off areas) who might want to quit but haven’t done so. If it and the roadshow campaign surrounding it are successful in encouraging even a few smokers to quit, then it shouldn’t matter if a few other people are a wee bit offended.

And actually, I don’t mind smoking in films. I still consider that Audrey Hepburn was a beautiful woman, including in that iconic photo from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Belinda said...

So no price is too great if a few people stop smoking?

Or what would that price be ...?

And what about answering my other question?

Do you really think scaring people is the best way to stop them from smoking?

Snowdon said...

Chris: I somehow thought I might persuade you to return if I reported your actions on another blog!

'Reported my actions'!? Are you talking about Siegel's blog or one of the "darker reaches of the internet" I mentioned in my post?

Forces comment: All you needed to do was explain your position earlier, instead of running off.

I hate to break your heart but some of us don't spend 24 hours a day on the internet. I had my dinner and watched 2 episodes of The Apprentice USA before returning to read your tripe. Your latest effort is more of the same. I have enormous admiration for those who have the patience to 'lock horns' with you, but I think I'll leave it to them.

Run away!!!!

RickDP said...

“You describe a debating style which I really don’t recognise in myself.”

“I don’t recognise that in myself either.”


Rollo, have you heard of acute fixation or cognitive blindness. You’ve done it again. You have a multiplicity of posts, most mind-numbingly long, that go absolutely nowhere. I don’t want to ask a question of you in case it trips the ‘unbridled verbiage’ button.

Rollo, take a deep breath. A nap might be in order. Or, maybe some tutorials in concise and meaningful argument.

_

Tah-di-dah said...

The detail of what the doctor actually said is crucially important in demonstrating whether was indeed cause-and-effect.

And I would argue that the doctor’s words would have to be really strong for cause-and-effect to be justified.


says the guy who believes everything ASH pukes up all based on correlation and not causation. So heart attacks are down by 10% since the smoking ban and its all to do with the smoking ban is it Rollo? You will ignore that as you normally do cos it doesn't fit with your bias.

Rollo Tommasi said...

Yet again Snowdon runs away, rather than get involved in debate he might lose. No response to considered argument other than a puerile statement of "tripe". What a grasp of the English language that boy has.

Bye bye Chris. I'll try to find someone who knows enough of this subject to have a debate with.

C.A.G.E. said...

Rollo,

Chris is only following your advice to avoid violence. In the face of irrational adversion he would rather leave the debate than resort to verbal violence. Isn't exactly this you suggest people do when they're harassed by people with views that appear totally irrational as opposed to our own?

Or is verbal abuse OK by you?

C.A.G.E. said...

I should have signed the above comment from my C.A.G.E. google account with my own name: Iro Cyr

Belinda said...

Rollo. You contended that the damage done to the smoker was 'quite clearly the act of a cigarette. I don't think any reasonable viewer could see the ad in any other way'.

Why don't you answer my question?

What about admitting that no cigarette will knock a person out in 12 minutes, and that the video is made to resemble an assault by one person on another?

Because you would rather accuse someone else of running away.

Blueblackjack said...

I don't think the Bromsgrove advertiser story is as strong as you make out Chris. From your own highlighted section:

"Kirby claimed that on that day she was told by a hospital that smoke in her body had caused her to lose the child."

Unless the consulting doctor testified on record that SHS exposure alone caused this miscarriage, it seems just as likely to be a case of a young women having a tragic experience, getting standard advice from the health service as to how to reduce the risk of miscarriage in future (presumably including advice on smoke exposure along with a range of other factors), and forming a strong association as to the cause-effect herself.

You can't draw conclusions as to the degree to which SHS exposure was given as 'the cause' during her consultation on one (pretty disturbed sounding) girl's testimony.

Anonymous said...

BBJ,

Have you been in one of our hospitals recently?
Having just lost my mother in law and then having my own mum in with a terminal illness I can tell you that the staff seem to spend most of their time telling you how smoking could cause all and sundry.
They forgot half my mums medications almost every day but they never forget to tell you that smoking is the root of all evil.

BHJ

Rollo Tommasi said...

Belinda - The "assault" was quite clearly the work of a cigarette - not another person.

Why does it matter whether smoking can cause so much damage within 12 mins? The fact is that smoking harms many of its users. The ad uses reasonable imagery to represent the fact that cigarettes are dangerous. Or are artistry and imagery things you don't think should occur in commercials? Well take a look - because many adverts resort to these techniques.

Belinda said...

The image used is of wilful violence being inflicted by one person on another. It is not only 'reasonable viewers' that would have seen this either.

I find this an unacceptable image for a health authority to use regarding smoking (I am not trying to stop smoking btw but at an average of less than one a day I don't suppose it makes much difference). We are not going to persuade each other however so we'd better stop trying!

Rollo Tommasi said...

The image used is of violence being inflicted on a person. But no other person is involved.

You say "I find this an unacceptable image for a health authority to use regarding smoking". Why should a Trust be prevented from running a campaign encouraging long-term smokers to quit in the way it considers most effective, just to appease the sensitivities of you or a few other people who have no desire to stop?

Anonymous said...

This type of advertising doesn't seem to work. Smoking rates went down steadily with gentle reminders that you would be more likely to get lung cancer. People in the UK, especially the young, don't like being preached at or bullied. Also, this advert has highlighted the fact that YouTube is outside of the jurisdiction of the ASA (I put in a complaint), even though a PCT paid a large sum of money to a well known film maker, resulting in a piece of film intended for public viewing. It was not deemed to be an advert: an odd notion which, I've read, is being made use of by tobacco companies.