The current anti-smoking campaign
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!
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
- Ad 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
BILLIONS of dollars after they turn you to their position.