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Controversial Antismoking Ad Shows Cigarettes
Like Twin Towers Hit in 9/11 Terrorist Attack

     An antismoking ad showing two cigarettes so that they appear to be very similar to the Twin Towers of New York City shortly after they were hit by a terrorist attack on 9/11 is creating a great deal of controversy.
     The poster was prepared for presentation to ASH of New Zealand, and NOT by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) -- the original ASH which operates largely in the U.S. and sponsors this web site -- but only as a "draft * creative concept, not a final or executed campaign. It said:

Terrorism-related deaths since 2001: 11,337 •
Tobacco-related deaths since 2001: 30,000,000
     The controversy is not so much over the numbers [SEE BELOW], but rather over whether the analogy is a fair and meaningful one, and whether it is appropriate to compare deaths caused by terrorists (either on 9/11 or more generally) with deaths caused by smoking. 
     ASH WANTS YOUR OPINIONS:  Please click here to go to the ASH Member Bulletin Board and Forum to read the comments already posted, and to post your own by clicking on the "postreply" icon.  You may use your own name, or choose an anonymous screen name.


     First, it should be noted that the concept is not an original one, since the illustration to the right [SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT ALL] was featured earlier in the
Khaleej Times.  It says:
5.4 million die of smoking related causes each year
That's 2000 times a 9/11.
     Moreover, the ad above was reportedly created by Doyle Dane Bernbach of New Zealand, , a well respected US advertising agency with offices on Madison Ave. in New York City where the Twin Towers stood before they were destroyed.
     But an opinion piece on the
REASON web site says; "For 'public health' true believers,  the fact that smokers who get lung cancer or emphysema are not murdered but instead die as a result of voluntarily assumed risks does not mean the government has less of a duty to prevent their deaths. . . .By this logic, smoking is a much bigger outrage than terrorism, and governments should spend much more money and effort to prevent it than they do to prevent terrorism."  link
     This may not be entirely correct, however, since many experts and impartial organizations report tens of thousands of deaths each year among innocent nonsmokers who simply inhale someone else's tobacco smoke [[see generally]].
     Indeed, a judge has just ruled that years of breathing secondhand tobacco smoke caused a nonsmoking waitress to contract potentially fatal lung cancer [link].
    Moreover, as the New York Times reported: " At least 6,200 children die each year in the United States because of their parents' smoking, killed by such things as lung infections and burns, .  ." [ http://ash.org/parentskillkids
     Another web site terms it a "cheap visual trick" by "insensitive, hackneyed creatives" who "exploit past tragedies" "to win those oh-so-important ad awards." link
     A DC based gossip web site said that the ad was "
very very inappropriate!," and suggested that: "Everyone smoke immediately."  link
    Ironically, but perhaps not coincidentally, this new ad appears at the time when the New Zealand government, like a growing number of other governments, has concluded that very graphic eye-catching images may be necessary to reach hard-core smokers, and has ordered a series of such visual antismoking messages to begin appearing on cigarette packs [SEE BELOW or view photos]
ASH WANTS YOUR OPINIONS:  Please click here to go to the ASH Member Bulletin Board and Forum to read the comments already posted, and to post your own by clicking on the "postreply" icon.  You may use your own name, or choose an anonymous screen name.
* Ben Youdan,  Director of ASH New Zealand, said: "Please note that this poster is a confidential draft, is not published and is not in the public domain. . . . It is still a draft creative concept, not a final or executed campaign."



    


 


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