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Smoking Aloud

The current anti-smoking campaign
is not about public health or drug abuse...

It is about CONTROL... They want it!

The Role of Propaganda in the Smoking Wars

There is no doubt that propaganda has played a pivotal role in both the pro and anti smoking debate.

Joe Camel made Me Do It!

Joe CamelEdward Bernays' public relations efforts for the tobacco companies in the early 20th century helped popularize smoking in the United States, particularly among women. Bernays, a nephew of Freud, pioneered the PR industry's use of psychology and other social sciences to design its public persuasion campaigns. "If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits." (Propaganda, 2005 ed., p. 71.)

He called this scientific technique of opinion-molding the "engineering of consent."

In the 1920s, working for the American Tobacco Company, he sent a group of young models to march in the New York City parade. He then told the press that a group of women's rights marchers would light "Torches of Freedom". On his signal, the models lit Lucky Strike cigarettes in front of the eager photographers. The New York Times (1 April 1929) printed: "Group of Girls Puff at Cigarettes as a Gesture of 'Freedom'". This helped to break the taboo against women smoking in public.

Using the same engineering of consent techniques pioneered by Bernays, social engineers wanting to influence the opinions and behaviors of large numbers of people manipulated the American media to make tobacco industry executives out to be nothing less than liars. Collectivists throughout the government and society began their assault by creating an atmosphere of hateful distrust and by turning public opinion from the tobacco companies accompanied with an avalanche of misleading propaganda designed to frighten the public.

Controlling public opinion was paramount if they were to succeed in extorting billions of dollars from a legal industry and raising taxes on Americans least able to afford it.

Propaganda Techniques Used Against Smokers and Tobacco Industry

  • tobacco executivesAd hominem attacks on tobacco executives, as opposed to attacking their arguments. Tobacco companies are not doing anything different than any other corporation selling a legal product.

  • Ad nauseam claims regarding the number of cigarette smoking related deaths. Using the tireless repetition of a lie repeated enough times, the public began to believe it to be true. The Washington "spin doctors" have successfully twisted the facts about tobacco and smoking and the corporate owned news media has fed those lies to the American public.
  • The repeated articulation of a Big Lie and half-truths such as the number of smoking related deaths justifies their subsequent actions. The descriptions of these events have elements of truth, and the "big lie" generalizations merge and eventually supplant the public's accurate perception of the underlying facts.
  • Appeals to authority such as the Surgeon General to support their position, idea, argument, or course of action.
  • Appeals to fear seek to build support by instilling anxieties and panic in the general population, for example, the slogan "Smoking Kills".

  • Appeal to prejudice, or using loaded or emotive terms to attach value or moral goodness to believing the proposition. Take for example their campaign that it's "for the children." A related technique is flag-waving, attempting to justify an action on the grounds that doing so will in some way benefit a group: the children.
  • Bandwagon and "inevitable-victory" appeals attempt to persuade smokers to join in and quit because that is what "everyone else is doing." We are told, for example, about how many fewer people smoke today. While there is some truth in that, many smokers have simply become closet smokers. Have you ever noticed how many people you see smoking in their cars?
  • Demonizing the enemy, labeling, and name-calling: redefining the tobacco industry, calling it "Big Tobacco," playing on the public's aversion to "Big Government." Lawyers bringing suits against the tobacco industry developed various theories to show the tobacco industry committed a fraud against the American public. They claimed documents have shown that the tobacco industry lawyers controlled scientific research in an attempt to hide data that was damaging to the industry (not unlike any industry), that the tobacco industry has hidden the dangers of smoking (ignoring the fact that everyone already knew of the dangers), that they manipulated the nicotine content of cigarettes to addict more people, and that they targeted children in their advertising (ah yes, the popular "for the children" theme).

    This technique has been used to make individuals from the opposition appear to be subhuman (e.g., the Vietnam War-era term "gooks" for National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam aka Vietcong, (or 'VC') soldiers), worthless, or immoral, through suggestion or false accusations. This was the technique used by Adolph Hitler to justify the extermination of millions of Jews.
  • A related technique called scapegoating is used to assign blame to tobacco companies, thus alleviating feelings of guilt from responsible parties such as legislators, attorneys and others profiting from tobacco.
  • Disinformation and the creation or deletion of information from public records, in the purpose of making a false record of an event or the actions of a person or organization, including bogus research and junk science.
  • Oversimplification and rationalization of second hand smoke is used to provide simple answers to complex issues. While a person might not like the smell of cigarette smoke, for instance, that does not mean the smoke is dangerous to them.

Isn't it ironic that these same lawyers, government officials, and other politicians accusing others of lying have perfected the art of lying (who can forget the long string of lies coming from our highest elected official, Bill Clinton). Basing their arguments on fraudulent and bogus research, these corrupt politicians successfully convinced much of the American public and a few activist judges that collective rights usurp individual rights and more private wealth should be transferred to the government.

Dare I remind you who has a tremendous financial motive to convince you the tobacco companies are at fault? These same lawyers making these wild accusations will earn BILLIONS of dollars after they turn you to their position.

Politically Incorrect


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