Anti-Advertising

I’ve been thinking about advertising. And in particular I’ve been thinking about two memorable UK ads from the past. The first one had a jingle which went:

A million housewives every day
Pick up a tin of beans and say,
Beanz Meanz Heinz.

And the second one went:

Heineken refreshes the parts that other beers cannot reach.

Now the only thing I want to point out about both of these slogans is that neither of them are true. Because a million British housewives never did pick up a tin of beans and say that. And Heineken does not refresh the parts other beers cannot reach. So they’re both false claims. They are, if you like, outright lies. There isn’t a shred of evidence supporting either claim.

But in the world of advertising, truth doesn’t matter. The whole point of advertising is to bend the truth, or be highly selective about it.  Yes, Jaguar sells sports cars. But no, they don’t all come with busty blondes in bikinis lying on their bonnets. And anyway, the busty blondes only look that good after being airbrushed into shape (which is another lie).

But if it helps sell baked beans and beer and sports cars, the ad men have done their job. Because their job is to get people to buy things. And if they have to twist the truth to do it, they will. And nobody’s much bothered if they do.

I remember laughing at one of the Heineken ads, and reaching for my can of lager as I did so. It was a can of Heineken.

But now I’d like to think about ad men who’ve been given a different task: they’ve been asked to get people to stop buying something. I’ll call it “anti-advertising.” How would they set about it? They’d do what they always do, and twist the truth, but this time not to make something seem attractive, but to make it seem ugly.

The anti-advertising that I have in mind is tobacco anti-advertising, of course.

I started thinking about this a week or so back when I remembered that in 2004 Sir Richard Doll had addressed a bunch of people who’d been working on the British Doctors study for the previous 50 years, and told them that the purpose of the study had been “to advertise the link between smoking and disease” (The quote is from memory. I wish I had the link to the BMJ article, but I know I’ve got it somewhere). At the time I read it, I thought the 50 year “prospective” Doctors study had done a brilliant job of “advertising” the link, year after year, decade after decade, for 50 years. It was an ad campaign that had run for 50 years.

And in that campaign, the whole aim was to get people to stop smoking, and to do so by presenting them with a highly selective, distorted, and untruthful image of tobacco. That smoking causes lung cancer, and smoking causes heart disease, and smoking causes ageing skin (even though there’s little hard evidence that it does any of these things).

There’s no science behind this. There’s none at all. Or at least there’s no more truth or substance in any of the anti-smoking advertising than there is in those advertising claims about Heinz beans and Heineken lager: i.e. none at all.

Antismoking campaigns are anti-advertising campaigns.

In support of this thesis, I’d point out that one of the first things that got banned in the UK was tobacco advertising. And if you’re running an anti-advertising campaign, the first thing you’ll want to get rid of is the competition pushing the opposite message. So tobacco advertising had to stop before anti-smoking advertising really got started.

Also in support of this thesis, I’d like to point to Tobacco Control’s fixation on seemingly unimportant things like display bans and “plain” packaging. They worry about them because they’re a form of advertising. They’re ad men and they want to replace them with their own anti-ads. The plain doors behind which the tobacco is now hidden will soon be covered in hideous pictures of tumours and rotten teeth. And the packets in which the tobacco is packaged will be covered in the same obscene images. What better place is there to put an anti-ad than on the product itself? Soon, when you light up a cancer stick, it’ll actually look like a stick of cancer.

The War on Smoking is an ad campaign. Or rather, an anti-ad campaign. And it got the assistance in the 1960s onwards from the master himself, Edward Bernays:

After his semi-retirement in the 1960s he worked with the pro-health anti-smoking lawyer John Banzhaf’s group, ASH, and supported other anti-smoking campaigns.

And it’s been a very successful campaign. Most people now really do believe that smoking causes lung cancer. And they even think that secondhand smoke does too. Even though all of it is based on lies just like Heinz and Heineken’s “innocuous” lies.

And if anyone should ever protest that antismokers have roped in doctors to push their anti-ad campaign, they’ll just turn around and say: “The tobacco companies did it first!” And so they did, as this Camel ad shows.

And now, because it’s been such a successful anti-ad campaign, they’re doing it with everything. Alcohol, chocolate, all kinds of food.  And carbon dioxide. And anti-advertising is in use in politics, as opposing parties or politicians are subjected to attack ads (while political parties are promoted as brands).

Now the point of all this is that exposing the antismoking “science” lies simply isn’t going to help. Because to do so would be no different from exposing the lie that a million housewives every day pick up a tin of beans and say Beanz Meanz Heinz, or the lie that Heineken refreshes the parts that other beers cannot reach. “So what?” people would say. In advertising, truth doesn’t matter. Just like in fiction facts don’t matter. It doesn’t help to point out that Donald Duck is an imaginary duck, or a completely fabricated duck. People aren’t going to stop watching, stop suspending disbelief, just because it’s untrue.

If there is any real difference at all between dishonest positive advertising like Heinz and Heineken, and dishonest negative advertising like anti-smoking advertising, it’s that they have very different effects. The Heinz and Heineken ads boost consumption, while anti-advertising cuts consumption. Positive advertising stimulates the economy, and negative advertising chokes the economy. After all, the one tries to get people to buy something. And the other tries to get them to stop buying it.

And given the levels of anti-advertising we now have, is it really very surprising that the global economy is sinking into depression (with its attendant deflation)?

Furthermore, anti-advertising is predatory in nature. While positive advertising brings increased sales and profits, negative anti-advertising works by stealing money in the form of punitive taxation. Tobacco Control’s “business model” is one of sufficiently demonising a product and its consumers to the point where politicians introduce bans and impose punitive taxation, some of which money finds its way back to Tobacco Control, which then demonises and defames the product and its consumers even more, in order to win even higher taxes. Smokers are made to pay for their own persecution. And the same business plan is then used with other products. The economy eats itself.

So I think that as we sink deeper and deeper into austerity and depression, there are going to be louder and louder calls to stimulate the economy and boost consumption. But how is that going to be possible when people are being told to stop buying tobacco, stop buying alcohol, stop buying soda, stop buying “junk food”, stop buying sugar, stop buying salt, stop generating carbon dioxide, stop using cars, stop flying away on holiday, and recycle everything?

Something’s going to have to give, and it’s going to have to be the negative ad campaigns. They’ll have to stop. And they will stop when tax revenues dry up, and the money fed to the anti-advertisers dries up with it.

Positive advertising is sustainable. Negative advertising – anti-advertising – is unsustainable.

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About Frank Davis

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61 Responses to Anti-Advertising

  1. VERY interesting take on things…and makes perfect, diabolical sense.

    • Its the exact same reasons alcohol prohibition failed. Every blight that could happen in that agenda did happen.

      The governments were doing everything they could to create inflation so it would eat up the debts they ran up into the 1000s of trillions of dollars world wide. We got deflation and so now they have to cough up REAL DOLLARS/currency to pay the interest on those real debts that inflation didn’t get rid of over xxx number of years.

      So now they are after every dollar and penny they can steal be it thru legislation or administrative punitive fees and other means……..Obama is guilty on all levels especially in obamacare where taxes were hidden for jan 1 2015 and went thru the roof on everyone!

      We are worldwide on he road to oblivion they know it we know it everyone knows it!

      The only place inflation ever showed up was in the inflated values pumped up by the FED over 8 years. No gains,no profits all paper shuffles and loans corporations took out to pay stock dividends on inflated values that never existed all because the FED wanted valuations back up where there was no value to start with…………..

      So yes indeed the government will kick the Nazis out and turn on the 1933 sing along with FDR again………….repeals and lowered taxes gentlemen join me in the oval office for a beer and cigarette summit!

  2. carol2000 says:

    OT – E-joints. “Mr. Stevens, a former marketing executive who spent 30 years in the tobacco industry, defended the device’s THC content, pointing out that each inhalation is metered by the device. ‘Our goal is not to get people stoned so they sit in the corner and vegetate,’ he said.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/13/health/with-the-e-joint-the-smoke-clears-.html
    It’s got a nanny-valve.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      This is an excellent analysis. It both describes and explains the current situation. It would be great if it could get wide dissemination beyond this blog.

      • junican says:

        Sorry, SL, but I doubt that Frank D would want his blog to be about anything other than the smoking ban and associated matters. Mary-Jane is not tobacco. Why should Frank want to complicate the ‘ethics’? Leave MJ out of it, my friend!

        • Smoking Lamp says:

          Jouncing, I posted the reply in the wrong place. I meant Frank’s analysis that was the subject of today’s post–Anti-advertising! I did not mean he should get involved in the marijuana issue. The plate is certainly full with the smoking ban. I meant his anti-advertising was excellent. Again sorry posted in the wring spot.

        • Smoking Lamp says:

          Junican, See my response and sorry for misspelling your name. That is auto-correct run amok.

        • Id agree Cousin but the oint here is now the Nazis will attack ecigs ob drug devices. Literally you can smoke hash oil in it even if you do it right. But also it could be used as a metered medicine delivery device not just thc or nicotine but other direct effect drugs like pain killers even or other such drugs. Rapid into the system way to go.

          But let the vapors worry about that they aren’t doing us any good sticking with that BS reduced harm crap……..

  3. junican says:

    I have wondered for a long time why schools do not use TV adverts to illustrate to pupils how easy it is for reality to be distorted. The two examples that you give are excellent, and I could add another:
    “You’ll look a little lovelier EACH DAY, with FABULOUS Pink Camay” That was an advert on TV in the 70s (I think). Fabulous Pink Camay was just soap. But millions fell for the hype. Another trick, of a different type concerned Colgate (I think) toothpaste. Colgate wanted to increase sales, and so it slightly increased the diameter of the tube mouth. For example, increasing the tube diameter from, say, 5 mm to 6 mm would increase the extrusion of the paste by around 20%. Such tricks rely upon habit, in the sense that one has the habit of squeezing toothpaste tubes to a certain extent.

    Why do schools not use TV adverts as examples of emotional brainwashing? Why do they not use such examples to show their pupils the antithesis of ‘rationality and logic’? I suspect that the Heads have been told not to do so. Belief in the truth of adverts underpins the belief in politicians, and, to some extent, the growth of the economy. But such tricks also depend upon the populace being supine.
    Maybe it is, but the supine nature of the populace also has its adverse effect. Thus, failure to question Tobacco Control is complemented by failure of non-smokers to frequent pubs.That sort of logic is not easy to appreciate.

    • Rose says:

      Junican, I taught my children how to deconstruct a tv ad before they even went to school as a matter of self defence.

      They didn’t believe me at first but when they finally did, it saved a lot of aggravation in the supermarket, though sadly, I never quite managed my to convince my son that food doesn’t have to come in a brightly coloured packet accompanied by a lively and persistent advertising campaign, which caused a lot of trouble at meal times.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Why do schools not use TV adverts as examples of emotional brainwashing?

      Probably because they’re doing the same thing themselves, using the same methods..

    • carol2000 says:

      “Why do schools not use TV adverts as examples of emotional brainwashing? Why do they not use such examples to show their pupils the antithesis of ‘rationality and logic’?”

      But they DO. That is the very essence of their hatred for Big Tobacco, as well as other business. But as Everett Dean Martin pointed out in his debate with Edward L. Bernays, “I did not, as Mr. Bernays seems to think, bring severest criticism against propaganda in business. I am primarily interested in preserving our cultural inheritance. Doubtless propaganda in the form of advertising works less harm than elsewhere. The man who advertises soap generally sells what he advertises. Even the sale of an occasional gold brick is not the worst evil of propaganda. What I object to is the nation-wide sale of cultural gold bricks.”
      http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=cool&itemLink=r?ammem/coolbib:@field%28TITLE+@od1%28Edward+L+Bernays+Papers+++Are+We+Victims+of+Propaganda?+A+Debate++Everett+Dean+Martin+and+Edward+L++Bernays+%29%29&hdl=amrlm:me20:0001
      Those “cultural gold bricks” passed off by government propaganda include hatred and intolerance of smokers, as well as their whole so-called “culture of wellness.”

    • jaxthefirst says:

      “… why schools do not use TV adverts to illustrate to pupils how easy it is for reality to be distorted …”

      Naughty, naughty, Junican! Heretical suggestions! Goodness me – you’ll be suggesting that they actually teach children not to believe everything “authority figures” tell them and to stop and question everything they are told, next! Outrageous! Children’s minds are there to be moulded into an acceptable, obedient form, not used for rational thought! I thought everyone knew that. And I know it’s true because an “authority figure” told me so, so it must be right …

      • carol2000 says:

        So why not have them attack anti-smoking ads instead? There’s already a massive surplus of true-believing little pinheads who swallow every health fascist lie, and imagine that they’re big stuff for attacking advertising fluff. Especially tobacco advertising.

  4. waltc says:

    In (half- hearted) defense of my long ago former career on Mad Ave, the examples you gave are harmless hype, and few if any people would believe them literally. The first one– I assume a jingle– is simply meant to get people to see Heinz as The Definitive Bean and I’m damned if I know what the second one means, tho I get an implied image of rampant erections and vaginal orgasms. LOL. A lot of advertising, especially in the 30’s–50’s, (before my time) was blatantly stupid and played on social insecurities: Use this and you’ll be beautiful, successful, and, for women, marriageable. (“She’s lovely, she’s engaged, she uses Pond’s”) They’re selling products by relating them to aspirations, and by hopefully–and clumsily– evoking pleasant feelings. Nonetheless, I repeat, harmless. The 60’s-80’s sold through humor, irony and a kind of break- out honesty, an awareness that people were too hip for hype. Otoh, the anti-smoking ads fit in more with Goebel’s anti-Semitic propaganda. The ARE propaganda in the form and format of ads. So are the political smear ads. Ads-as-propaganda are meant to sell ideas, not products, and try to sell them by invoking fear and loathing. They are implicitly dangerous.

    • RdM says:

      The word I think you’re looking for when you write “harmless” is “puffery”, Walt. Yes?
      “Harmless puffery”, perhaps.
      Here in NZ, for instance, is the Commerce Commission’s take on this:
      http://www.comcom.govt.nz/fair-trading/fair-trading-act-fact-sheets/jargon-exaggerations-and-puffery/

      (I recently went looking at their pages after buying, rarely, a small tin of small cigars, unable to afford a RYO pack toward the end of the financial week… I was offended to find that it bore a label saying “CIGAR SMOKE IS TOXIC”. – I think there may very well be a case to be made that this is blatantly not true!)

      However, one needs to pick one’s fights carefully, especially if in a fragile position.

      As I am.

      However, much as I agree with your last five sentences, I’d add that they are also selling (or rather shilling for) Big Pharma’s NRT and drug products, explicitly with all the Quitline references and contact numbers (I don’t know if you have that there). They’re ads too.

      Lastly, Chris Snowdon wrote a very readable re-working of Advertising in a Free Society at the IEA org uk site, pointing out inter alia that people are far less taken in than some might think… when I see “real people” commenting on anti-smoker proposals in the media, even non-smokers, beyond the obviously brainwashed and the deliberate shills, that it’s going too far, etc. I have some hope.

      But I think the fear of speaking out amongst professionals and even in other disciplines, psychology and real statisticians come to mind – real investigative journalists seem hardly to exist or are already brainwashed – at least here in NZ (where a packet of Marlboro as of Jan 1st now costs NZD21.50, Dunhill Red $22.50 – not that I smoke ersatz chemical paper tailor made cigs!) – let alone “religious leaders”, the law society, judges, politicians of course, the local timid media pundits – self-censorship and ignorance allied, has greatly assisted the Tobacco Control influence agents and campaigns in the media.

      Well, maybe I can get my own blog started this year, reflecting local concerns. ;=})

      • smokingscot says:

        I see they’ve legislated to stop all mention on the web, thus no information from supermarkets and the like.

        Interesting. We shall await patiently until this “initiative” gravitates to Ireland, then the UK.

        However for the curious. NZ$21.50 is about £11.00 and NZ$ is £11.50

        • RdM says:

          Yeah, no supermarket online acknowledgement of tobacco, for some time now.
          Those prices about right, using XE Currency Converter – also 14.25 & 14.9 Euro.
          I looked back recently to Frank’s January 13 2014 European Tobacco Prices post.

          Just mentioned “from Facebook”, the graph, but I see (only allowed one link?)
          www cigaretteprices net has 2014 prices in a list (insert the dots) – and
          http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Cost-of-living/Prices-at-markets/Cigarettes/Pack-of-Marlboro
          has an out of date list and a country map.

          Also back then I noticed that tichtich.com was gone, missed your essays, especially the
          “Number of cigarettes rolled from a tobacco pouch.” page, but have it again from archive dot org.

          (It doesn’t go back to the more recent pages previous years posts links, you have to backtrack to those actual years, in its capture list, to where they’re current, to retrieve them.)

          More…

        • RdM says:

          I’m also reminded of
          http://cagecanada.blogspot.co.nz/2010/12/beliefs-manipulation-and-lies-in.html
          and his 2009 scattershot graph of
          Figure 3 – Distribution of smoking prevalence in the EU in 2009 according to the price of the most popular brand of cigarettes (Marlboro ® ) adjusted for purchasing power.
          at the very end, above the references.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Ads-as-propaganda are meant to sell ideas, not products,

      But anti-advertising is meant to stop people buying something. i.e. stop buying tobacco. There’s no other “idea” behind it.

      • “But anti-advertising is meant to stop people buying something. i.e. stop buying tobacco. There’s no other “idea” behind it.”

        Yes. Money-1: To Governments: Creating public consensus for raising tobacco taxes

        Money-2: To Big Pharma: Creating public consensus for raising tobacco taxes in order to make your competing product more competitive (Nicorette et al).

  5. Lepercolonist says:

    Very good article, Frank. I need to study the embedded subliminal ads used by anti-tobacco. In the sixties, we had fun discovering subliminal messages in advertising. The book ‘The Hidden Persuaders’ by Vance Packard was our guidebook.

    • Leper it doesn’t work on smokers somehow most of us were immune………..lol

      • nisakiman says:

        Unfortunately not most, harley.

        I think the majority of smokers believe all the bullshit, because “the ‘experts’ said so, innit?”

        Those of us who have taken the time and effort to actually peel back the blanket of orthodox (doctrinaire) thinking to see what the reality is that lies beneath are few and far between. The majority of smokers continue to smoke despite the warnings of imminent doom because, well, accidents happen to other people, don’t they? And they enjoy smoking and feel just fine, so for that reason, just as they ignore the ridiculously gruesome pictures on the fag packets, they blank out the cacophony of shrill screeching from the tobacco haters.

        But they still believe that smoking kills, and they still have this little voice inside telling them that they have to quit.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I also remember reading Vance Packard’s Hidden Persuaders in the 60s. And all his other books as well. The Waste Makers. The Status Seekers. And several others.

      That was about the time I was reading Colin Wilson’s The Outsider as well.

      • nisakiman says:

        I also remember reading Vance Packard’s Hidden Persuaders in the 60s.

        Yes, it was almost de rigueur for those of an unorthodox bent in those days, like “The Medium is the Massage”. In fact I think I still have it on my bookshelf (I tend to hang on to books, particularly non-fiction. They can make for very interesting reading upon a revisit a few decades on). The more modern equivalent is “Why We Buy” (‘Learn how marketers step inside the 3 key areas of our brains and create compelling customer experiences’.), by Paco Underhill, which is also a very interesting read.

  6. margo says:

    Very good, Frank. Yesterday, I caught the end of a TV anti-smoking ad I hadn’t noticed before (I usually use the time to go and make a drink, roll a fag, etc) and heard (I think): “every fifteen cigarettes causes a mutation”. (This was the ad with the guy smoking and the cigarette turning to rotting flesh). Mutation? I’d really like to hear a scientist’s comment on this.
    The whole thing is plain, clever propaganda, and propaganda is the word for it.

    • margo says:

      OK, found it now: Chris Oakley writing for The Free Society: Marketing mutations. The lie explained.

      • Frank Davis says:

        Marketing Mutations

        Simon Clark over at Taking Liberties has published correspondence between the consumer group Forest and the Advertising Standards Authority that adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that tobacco control evangelism is a destructive influence on our society.

        The correspondence was triggered by a bizarre claim from the Department of Health (DH) made as part of a hard hitting campaign launched in December 2012 with the aim of reducing smoking prevalence.

        According to The Times ‘Health authorities have conceded that warnings of the long-term risks have failed to deter smokers. The latest ads instead try to convince people that their bodies are being harmed with every puff, and aim to create a “subconscious” aversion to cigarettes.’

        In other words, telling people something at least close to the truth wasn’t working so the health authorities felt it perfectly acceptable to lie.

        The DH funded a series of advertisements that appeared in various media including national television that claimed, “When you smoke the chemicals you inhale cause mutations in your body and mutations are how cancer starts. Every 15 cigarettes you smoke will cause a mutation. If you could see the damage you would stop.”

        • jltrader says:

          Anyone interested can compare cigarette ads (going back 100 years) with the antismoking ads http://tobacco.stanford.edu/tobacco_main/main.php . It should become obvious to any thinking person what kind of sick perverted bastards are behind the antismoking propaganda. Just one example, that ad under ‘addiction 101’ with a girl with a fishing hook in her upper lip. It makes looking at horror movies a walk in the park.

    • jaxthefirst says:

      I recall that when that ad was first run some years ago, our friendly scientist blogger Leg Iron did a pretty good fisking of it. He’ll probably correct me, because, unlike him I’m not a scientist, and my non-scientific memory may be a bit sketchy, but I seem to remember that the jist of his reply was that under any circumstances, either with or without the presence of tobacco smoke, the very complicated process of cell division causes a mutation, “naturally,” as it were, at – you guessed it – almost exactly the same rate as was cited as being “caused” by every 15 cigarettes. So in this particular ad, the antis are using one of their favourite tactics of just not quite telling the whole story, which is, of course, one of their favourite tricks.

      And what happens to all these “mutated” cells (of which quite a lot are produced daily, whether one smokes or not)? Well, again according to Mr L-I, the vast, vast majority of them, having a different genetic structure from the rest of the body’s cells, are recognised instantly by the immune system and disposed of very efficiently and effectively without any ill-effects.

      Note to Leggy, if you’re reading this – please correct me if I’ve remembered any of this incorrectly – and apologies if so!

      • beobrigitte says:

        but I seem to remember that the jist of his reply was that under any circumstances, either with or without the presence of tobacco smoke, the very complicated process of cell division causes a mutation, “naturally,” as it were, at – you guessed it – almost exactly the same rate as was cited as being “caused” by every 15 cigarettes.

        Now take into account the people born with a “genetic predisposition”. It takes MORE THAN 1 thing to go wrong for a cancer to manifest itself.
        Indeed, we all have many periods of onset of cancer in our life time – our bodies are programmed survivours and correct the error quickly.
        People born with a “faulty gene” have already one thing going wrong and therefore are at a great disadvantage. (Mine is the “breast cancer gene”, by the way)
        There is NEVER one single cause for ANY cancer! It takes multiple things to malfunction, a malfunction that can be caused, again, by numerous different influences.

        That leaves one question: WHERE DOES SMOKING FIT IN? Answer: Into everything else.
        In the meantime, stupid people pursue smokers, thinking this earns them a place in heaven.

        Food for thought.

  7. Did anyone listen to Radio 2 yesterday? The article was about confusing the general public with differing views so no one understands what is going on, and thereby allows the leaders to do pretty much what they like. It’s here starting at about 1 hour + 9 minutes.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04x0t4h

    • carol2000 says:

      Unfortunately, there’s not much there that matters for our cause. But with the anti-smoking movement, it’s clear that their most powerful weapon is to falsely frame the issue as “freedom versus public health,” when the real issue is scientific fraud by the government being used to rob us of our freedom. And they keep the public in the dark by always using Anti-smoker-Approved Fake Opponents who never question that framing, in order to falsely pretend that the presented both sides of the issue, when they didn’t.

  8. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2909046/How-oxygen-air-trigger-lung-cancer-Rates-disease-decrease-higher-altitudes.html

    How oxygen in the air could trigger lung cancer
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk

    Researchers in California and Pennsylvania found a link between elevation and cancer rates after com…

  9. chris says:

    Anti-advertising doesn’t merely discourage consumption; it encourages contempt or disparagement for those who do consume the targeted substance.

  10. Rose says:

    Frank

    Giant asteroid hurtling towards Earth

    “The huge rock, called 2004 BL86 by astronomers, will sweep safely past Earth on January 26.

    A spokesman for Nasa said: “It will be the closest asteroid 2004 BL86 will get to Earth for at least the next 200 years.
    “And while it poses no threat to Earth for the foreseeable future, it’s a relatively close approach by a relatively large asteroid, so it provides us a unique opportunity to observe and learn more.”

    Amateur astronomers with small telescopes and strong binoculars should be able to see the asteroid from the evening of January 26 into the morning of January 27.

    The asteroid will whizz past in front of the constellations Hydra, Cancer and Leo.

    The asteroid, which is about a third of a mile wide, will pass about 745,000 miles from the Earth’s surface. For comparison, the moon is about 240,000 miles from Earth.

    The flyby is notable because 2004 BL86 will be the closest of any known space rock this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past Earth in 2027.”
    http://www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk/news/local-news/giant-asteroid-hurtling-towards-earth-watch-it-from-northumberland-1-7051021

    • beobrigitte says:

      Thanks, Rose. Will get the telescope out (if I can still find it – it’s ancient and therefore buried somewhere…)!
      It’ll be my luck that the Merseyside sky is covered in clouds….

      Hale-Bopp was awesome to watch! For some unexplained reason there was clear skies for a few days….

  11. beobrigitte says:

    Ah, the funny commercials with their slogans….

    I sure do remember the Heinz Beanz commercials jingle but they somehow passed me by. I wasn’t keen on baked beans…
    I do remember the Heinecken ads, though, vividly. They made me laugh, despite not being keen on Heinecken Beer, either.
    This one is my favourite:

    Although the Heinz Beanz jingle wormed it’s way into my head, it did not make me buy what I didn’t like much. The same happened with the beer ad.
    Or even my most favourite tobacco ads were for products I didn’t like much:

    and

    At least the above were entertaining and we all knew the products existed.

    Now comparing the above vids with what the anti-smokers think is funny:

    I’m sure there were many men who watched this ad wondering about why they weren’t impotent – even at much greater age than the guy shown in the vid….

    I am not convinced the youngsters buy the anti-smoking nonsense – too many of them scrounge cigs from me, providing a great opportunity to ask them if they do not know that the anti-smoking brigade is doing their best to make smokers look the worst.
    One youngster did make me laugh; he said: “Yeah, so wha??? Ah’ll shcare the shi’ out of ’em denn”

    I do wonder if this kids was right – perhaps we should encourage tobacco control to produce more nonsense and apply more pressures. Perhaps it is different in the various counties in England, scousers react rather interestingly to being pressurised.

  12. Some French bloke says:

    “encourage tobacco control to produce more nonsense and apply more pressures.

    The more they’ll go overboard, the sooner the anti-smoking lark will come to an end, with TC’s sorry parade submerged under universal opprobrium.

  13. Some French bloke says:

    “in 2004 Sir Richard Doll […] told them that the purpose of the study had been “to advertise the link between smoking and disease”

    Quoting the first paragraph of R.A. Fisher’s article on the “Alleged Dangers of Cigarette–Smoking” here might seem redundant, it nonetheless serves to add a measure of historical perspective, being from the July, 6th, 1957 issue of the BMJ:

    “Your annotation on “Dangers of Cigarette-smoking” leads up to the demand that these hazards “must be brought home to the public by all the modern devices of publicity”.
    That is just what some of us with research interests are afraid of. In recent wars, for example, we have seen how unscrupulously the “modern devices of publicity” are liable to be used under the impulsion of fear; and surely the “yellow peril” of modern times is not the mild and soothing weed but the original creation of states of frantic alarm.”

  14. waltc says:

    About that “most cancer is random” study, zi asked a doctor friend who’d read the original study and attended a seminar about it, what was the higher % than randomness that was caused by eg sun and smoking that led them to conclude that those things were factors. He said about 15%. Tho these %s are a population wide estimate or a generalization! one still might extrapolate that in any individual case of skin or lung cancer, the “cause” would still be 85% chance with only a 15% chance that the sun! smoke represented the tipping point.

    As for the anti-smoking ads being about not-buying, I still think they’re about selling the idea of lethality and not-buying is simply the implicit association. A lot of those ads, too, are to stop nonsmokers — especially Youth–from dreaming of buying –because they’re lethal– and of creating that idea that smokers are unclean, diseased, self-destructive and doomed and generally people to avoid. Again, I see the parallel to Goebel’s anti-Semitic ads, and they were ads many in the form of five minute movie shorts.

  15. As EU Becomes Pariah, Iceland Dropping Membership Bid

    With the European Union becoming increasingly unpopular across the continent, Iceland authorities announced they would back out of membership talks and…

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/19898-as-eu-becomes-pariah-iceland-dropping-membership-bid?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=4b0c5419f2-The_Editors_Top_Picks_3_12_143_12_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8ca494f2d2-4b0c5419f2-282946977

    • Jack Listerio Revel Casino To Allow Smoking As Part Of Bankruptcy Filing …://newyork.cbslocal.com/…/revel-casino-to-allow-smoking-as… Mar 26, 2013 · Revel Casino To Allow Smoking As Part Of … – When the smoke clears from Revel’s bankruptcy … Atlantic City’s 12 casinos in terms of gambling … ROFLMAO! You outlawed smoking everywhere in NJ what did you expect would happen bunch of non smokers were going to show up and save the day like the tobacco control advocates said would happen once new jersey outlawed everybody from smoking everywhere. Perhaps you will get lucky and get a ERIC GARNER KILLING TO like up the road in NYC over your high taxes! You caused it now live with it in your bankrupt non smoking nirvana!

      Revel Casino To Allow Smoking As Part Of Bankruptcy Filing

      Allowing patrons to smoke is only one of several big…

      newyork.cbslocal.com

  16. Basicallt RWJF telling everyone tomake their deals and bribes early before the legislative period starts,ca you just imagine how much bribe money is being passed around in NOLA today!

    The Preemption Framework is a tool to support effective decision-making by helping the public health field anticipate, assess, and if necessary, counter preemptive policy proposals.

    State and local public health agencies serve an important role as laboratories for experimentation and innovation of policies, services, and programs. However, higher levels of government—state or federal legislatures—can preempt or limit the authority of lower jurisdictions by passing weaker laws.

    In 2011, at the request of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Institute of Medicine released a report on preemption deeming it a crosscutting issue in public health. The report recommended that minimum standards be set for states and localities to protect health and safety.

    These authors developed the Preemptive Framework as a tool to help the public health field respond to the potentially negative consequences of preemptive proposals. They recommend:
    Know your bottom line and agree to a position with major stakeholders to preserve the authority of lower jurisdictions to adopt stronger health protections.
    Make sure all those impacted by the preemption are at the negotiating table.
    Know your opposition and be prepared to counter industry lobbyists.
    Consider the short- and long-term consequences of preemption and who will ensure compliance with new laws.
    Consider whether the preemption will hinder a grassroots public health movement.
    Negotiate the preemption early in the legislative process.
    http://www.rwjf.org/en/research-publications/find-rwjf-research/2013/05/assessing-the-impact-of-federal-and-state-preemption-in-public-h.html

  17. WHO answers up on the 2/3rds cancer due to bad luck

    Most types of cancer not due to “bad luck” IARC responds to scientific article claiming that environmental and lifestyle factors account for less than one third of cancers

    Most types of cancer not due to “bad luck” IARC responds to scientific article claiming that environmental and lifestyle factors account for less than one third of cancers Lyon, France, 13 January 2015 – The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization’s specialized cancer agency, strongly disagrees with the conclusion of a scientific report1 on the causes of human cancer published in the journal Science on 2 January 2015 by Dr Cristian Tomasetti and Dr Bert Vogelstein.
    The study, which has received widespread media coverage, compares the number of lifetime stem cell divisions across a wide range of tissues with lifetime cancer risk and suggests that random mutations (or “bad luck”) are “the major contributors to cancer overall, often more important than either hereditary or external environmental factors.”
    For many cancers, the authors argue for a greater focus on the early detection of the disease rather than on prevention of its occurrence. If misinterpreted, this position could have serious negative consequences from both cancer research and public health perspectives.
    IARC experts point to a serious contradiction with the extensive body of epidemiological evidence as well as a number of methodological limitations and biases in the analysis presented in the report.
    “We already knew that for an individual to develop a certain cancer there is an element of chance, yet this has little to say about the level of cancer risk in a population,” explains IARC Director Dr Christopher Wild. “Concluding that ‘bad luck’ is the major cause of cancer would be misleading and may detract from efforts to identify the causes of the disease and effectively prevent it.”
    The past five decades of international epidemiological research have shown that most cancers that are frequent in one population are relatively rare in another and that these patterns vary over time2. For example, oesophageal cancer is common among men in East Africa but rare in West Africa. Colorectal cancer, once rare in Japan, increased 4-fold in incidence in just two decades. These observations are characteristic of many common cancers and are consistent with a major contribution of environmental and lifestyle exposures, as opposed to genetic variation or chance (“bad luck”).
    Furthermore, IARC experts identify several limitations in the report itself. These include the emphasis on very rare cancers (e.g. osteosarcoma, medulloblastoma) that together make only a small contribution to the total cancer burden. The report also excludes, because of the lack of data, common cancers for which incidence differs substantially between populations and over time. The latter category includes some of the most frequent cancers worldwide, for example those of the stomach, cervix, and breast, each known to be associated with infections or lifestyle and environmental factors. Moreover, the study focuses exclusively on the United States population as a measure of lifetime risk. The comparison of different populations would have yielded different results.
    Although it has long been clear that the number of cell divisions increases the risk of mutation and, therefore, of cancer, a majority of the most common cancers occurring worldwide are strongly related to environmental and lifestyle exposures. In principle, therefore, these cancers are preventable; based on current knowledge, nearly half of all cancer cases worldwide can be prevented. This is supported in 1 Tomasetti C, Vogelstein B (2015). Variation in cancer risk among tissues can be explained by the number of stem cell divisions. Science. 347(6217):78–81. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1260825 2 Stewart BW, Wild CP, editors (2014). World Cancer Report 2014. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research

    Most types of cancer not due to “bad luck” IARC responds to scientific article claiming that environmental and lifestyle factors account for less than one third of cancers
    IARC, 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon CEDEX 08, France – Tel: +33 (0)4 72 73 84 85 – Fax: +33 (0)4 72 73 85 75 © IARC 2015 – All Rights Reserved.
    practice by rigorous scientific evidence showing decreases in cancer incidence after preventive interventions. Notable examples include drops in rates of lung cancer and other tobacco-related cancers after reductions in smoking and declines in hepatocellular carcinoma rates among people vaccinated against hepatitis B virus.
    “The remaining knowledge gaps on cancer etiology should not be simply ascribed to ‘bad luck’,” says Dr Wild. “The search for causes must continue while also investing in prevention measures for those cancers where risk factors are known. This is particularly important in the most deprived areas of the world, which face a growing burden of cancer with limited health service resources.”
    For more information, please contact Véronique Terrasse, Communications Group, at +33 (0)4 72 73 83 66 or terrassev@iarc.fr or Dr Nicolas Gaudin, IARC Communications, at com@iarc.fr
    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization. Its mission is to coordinate and conduct research on the causes of human cancer, the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and to develop scientific strategies for cancer control. The Agency is involved in both epidemiological and laboratory research and disseminates scientific information through publications, meetings, courses, and fellowships. If you wish your name to be removed from our press release emailing list.

    http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr231_E.pdf

    • carol2000 says:

      That stuff is of no value whatsoever to our cause, and it only makes people look stupid if they try to pretend it is.

  18. It would appear their lifestyles cause and effect is taking a bitter downhill turn for the worse. Today the Oxygen carcinogen at altitudes broke in the news causing LC in humans. The other day Carols HPV,CMV study showing 94% of LC to be caused by viral infection…………… Whats the poor Nazis to do except say if you want off of our IARC mailing list simply click here!

    • The purpose of the ban on smoking in public places, however, was to protect non-smokers. It was thus based on nothing?

      Absolutely nothing! The psychosis began with the publication of a report by the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, which depends on the WHO (Editor’s note: World Health Organization). The report released in 2002 says it is now proven that passive smoking carries serious health risks, but without showing the evidence. Where are the data? What was the methodology? It’s everything but a scientific approach. It was creating fear that is not based on anything.

      Prof Evin

    • carol2000 says:

      “The other day Carols HPV,CMV study showing 94% of LC to be caused by viral infection”

      I said no such thing.

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