Counter Slogans

As I surmised last night, we can be pretty sure that the proposal to ban people  who were born after the year 2000 from buying tobacco products is too ludicrous to be serious. If the BMA and the TCI (Tobacco CONTROL Industry) actually try to bring in a Bill to that effect before the House of Commons , we can be very sure that it would be amended at a late hour to apply to everyone after a given date a few years in the future. The BMA and the TCI are ‘trying it on’. They really want total PROHIBITION.

I could not remember Nathanson actually trying to defend the idea, so I listened again. It is true. She did not speak about the actual proposal at all. She spoke in generalisations. I had a pencil and paper to hand, and so I tried to scribble down what she actually said, roughly. I’v just tried again, but it is extremely difficult because her words follow no logical progression about the actual subject matter being discussed.I mean something like this:

Suppose there had been a sudden spate of burglaries. I ask Nathanson what she thinks that the government should do. She says, “Well, of course, WE know that these burglars would not be doing these things,  had they not been pickpockets when they were young children. What WE need to do is stop young children from becoming pickpockets” Curiously, her statement could possibly be true but it requires an awful lot of suppositions to be valid. She used that sort of trick throughout the discussion without exception.

So here is the best I could do after two repetitions (Nathanson’s statements):

VERY ROUGHLY:

1. “Smoking is never good – we need some sugar in our diets and moderate amounts of alcohol are OK – but smoking kills half of smokers”

2. “Smokers start smoking as children. If they could not, then there is little likelihood of them starting to smoke.”

3. “Children who smoke are more likely to become heavily addicted and to have difficulty stopping”

4. [Would that mean old people would have to produce birth certificates?] “WE do not know how the legislation might be framed”

5. “It this ban was enforced, we would not have the problem of people who smoked in their 20a, 30s ……..” (Cut off by Neil)

6. “If this ban was brought in, in 20 years time WE would have a whole group of people who have never smoked”

7. “Why do WE still have 10% of 15 year-olds who smoke regularly when WE already know that it will kill 50% of them”

8. [Total ban?] “WE want to get to a position where nobody wants to smoke. Not illegal to smoke, but illegal to buy”

9. “WE know that the habit of smoking is closely linked to the ability to buy”

10. “Other counties are thinking the same. Australia has introduced PP …..”

A stream of truisms and slogans.

======

It struck we that we need counter slogans. These would be very useful when commenting on newspaper articles and such. Remember that the idea of  commenting is to CAST DOUBTS.

I would be interested to hear readers suggestions for counter slogans. Here are a few of my own:

Taking the above statements:

1. Smoking is well-known to have a calming and relaxing effect. Non-smoking kills just as many people as does smoking. [Elaboration: ‘Tobacco related diseases’ kill 85% of smokers and 84% of non-smokers (Doll’s Doctors Study)]

2. Smokers do not start smoking as children [humans up to 12] because their parents do not let them. Youths (13 – 17) experiment.

3. Children do not …… (as 2).  Nicotine is not addictive in the proper, scientific sense. It is habit-forming.

4. Legislation would require proof of age for all, young and old.

5. What problem?

6. Instead, WE would have a group of people who indulge in heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, you name it.

7. 15 year-olds experiment. Tobacco, as has been shown, if probably the least harmful substance that youths can experiment with.

8. WE will decide whether we want to smoke or not, and not you. If you cannot acquire it, you cannot use it. Nathanson is saying that it is OK to acquire tobacco via smugglers but not via tobacconists.

9. Tobacco will be reserved for ‘the better sort’ who can afford it and access it.

10. PP in Australia has had little effect on legal sales, but has increased illicit production enormously [You do not have to prove it]

——-

I think that it is important, in order to affect the minds of the public,  to keep things very simple. That is not because the public are thick. It is because they have little time to think about things like smoking, especially if they do not indulge, and prefer nice, simple ideas. Even most of smokers have no idea what is going on. At a guess, I would imagine that 75% of smokers knew nothing about the smoking ban until it happened, or at least, only found out a few weeks before. We must learn from ‘the experts’ in the TCI propaganda department.

An interesting thought is this. ‘Gullibility breeds gullibility’. That is, if enough people are gullible, they can communicate that gullibility to others. “Before the ban, when I went home from the pub, my hair and my clothes stank of tobacco smoke. I had to shower and put all my clothes in the wash” (The actuality was almost certainly that they did no such thing and that they are Zealots pretending). Some people would then ‘recollect’ the same sort of thing. Despite never actually experiencing such an effect, they would declare,  “And the same happened to me!” Is there an answer? The simplest answer is, “Why then did you go to such places if it was so important? In fact, might I ask why you do not go to such places NOW, after the ban?” That actually works, because it is true that the vast majority of people hardly ever go to pubs. You will almost certainly get no response to such a question, but it does CAST DOUBTS in the minds of others who read those comments.

——-

I think that it may be possible to turn their ‘science’ against them and create more DOUBT. For example, consider the fraud of ‘black lungs’ – artificially blackened pigs’ lungs used fraudulently to claim that they were human lungs of smokers. Quote it, when applicable, and combine it with lung transplants. Not only is ‘smokers black lung’ an outright lie, but also smokers lungs are routinely used in transplants. Provide a link if you wish to, but it is not necessary – or you could have a link ‘in reserve’ in case you are asked for ‘the evidence’.

That is the way in which my own mind works. Make a bold statement, and then wait for someone to demand proof, and then provide the proof. The fact that smokers lungs are used in transplants is very powerful, if that fact is used in the correct way. Used in the correct way, it could blow Tobacco Control apart. You can always do a Nathanson and, in any situation in which there is talk of smoking causing lung cancer, you can ask, “Why then are smokers’ lungs used in transplants?” There is no answer. Because there is no answer, the question must be asked again and again. CAST DOUBTS.

=======

Counter slogans are important. “Smoking tobacco is relaxing and relieves anxiety” Tobacco Companies cannot say that, because it suggests ‘therapy’ (aka medicine), nor can e-cig sellers. But the word ‘therapy’ means little or nothing. The correct word would be ‘cure’.

The word ‘therapy’ is just as meaningless as is the word ‘abuse’.

So let us motivate ourselves to resist by emitting counter slogans. “NO, PRIME MINISTER, UGLIFYING TOBACCO PACKETS WILL ACHIEVE NOTHING EXCEPT UGLIFYING YOU”

Press it, and press it again and again.

We are not powerless since we can grow our own (which we have  a perfect right to do as human beings for our own self-sufficiency), and that, as a consequence, the BMA has no right whatsoever to demand prohibition.

—–

Neal described Nathanson as ‘Doctor’ Nathanson’. She is no such thing. She was declared to be a ‘Doctor’ “honoris causa” – that is, some indeterminate people who attended a meeting said so. If that is the standard, then there is no reason that my daughters and my wife should not have a meeting and decide to give me the title of ‘DOCTOR’. They have every right to do so. Thus, from now on, I shall describe myself, on blogs, as “Doctor Junican”. And there is “Doctor Legiron” (except that he claims to be a ‘real’ “doctor”. whatever the word ‘real’ means).

On second thoughts, why bother?

Suppose that we did away with words like “Doctor” and “Professor”? After all, those titles exhibit ‘superiority’. In that case, persons would have to have inherent ‘goodness’. Mr Glantz would have to prove everything that he claims, and so would Mr Siegel and Mr Phillips, in order to be called “Professor” or “Doctor” one would have to be especially  ‘good’. Evil people would not be called ‘Professor’ or ‘Doctor’. Nor would those titles be granted ‘honoris causa’ – they have to be earned via scholarship, and not via ‘who you know’.

——-

Thus, in a very indirect way, these “professors” and “doctors” can be ‘killed off’ on the grounds that they are not really ‘professors’ and ‘doctors’. They might as well claim to be ‘Emperors’ or ‘Kings’.

 

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12 Responses to “Counter Slogans”

  1. garyk30 Says:

    Dear Dr. J,

    I believe your link to the 2004 Summary for Doll’s Doctor Study is bad.

    Here is a good link:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC437139/pdf/bmj32801519.pdf

    • junican Says:

      Thanks, gary. I have changed the link.
      This is a bit weird. Only a few days ago someone told me that the link to the McTear Case had been changed, and now the original link to the BMJ no longer works.
      I am suspicious!

  2. kin_free Says:

    All very well but we should ensure that any slogans used are always squeaky clean and TRUTHFUL.

    The anti-smoker Achilles heel is the fact that they lie or grossly exaggerate their arguments all the time and this can be demonstrated. We must not go down that road, there is no need for us (anti-antismokers) to lie in any shape or form but we should never let them get away with their lies without some challenge.

    The black lung lie is a good one, Cancers increasing DESPITE the reduction in smokers and 80% of lung cancers now diagnosed in NON smokers is another. There are many health benefits to smoking and these should be constantly drawn to the attention of those who would have us wrongly believe that there are ‘no benefits to smoking’. Most importantly we must stop saying things like ‘I know it is bad for me but it is my choice’. There is plenty of evidence that this assumption is wrong. While this statement is very valid from a freedom from state interference perspective, it merely confirms the lies anti-smokers use in relation to health.

    We should learn from anti-smoker propaganda and how it is disseminated. The tobacco control industry have learned their basic lessons from Hitler (as well as other sources) so here are a few excerpts from Mein Kampf. If you know how they do it, you can work out how to counter it.

    Chapter 6: War Propaganda

    The situation is the same in regard to what we understand by the word, propaganda. The purpose of propaganda is not the personal instruction of the individual, but rather to attract public attention to certain things, the importance of which can be brought home to the masses only by this means.
Here the art of propaganda consists in putting a matter so clearly and forcibly before the minds of the people as to create a general conviction regarding the reality of a certain fact, the necessity of certain things and the just character of something that is essential. But as this art is not an end in itself and because its purpose must be exactly that of the advertisement poster, to attract the attention of the masses and not by any means to dispense individual instructions to those who already have an educated opinion on things or who wish to form such an opinion on grounds of objective study–because that is not the purpose of propaganda, it must appeal to the feelings of the public rather than to their reasoning powers. (p.155-156)

    The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. That this is not understood by those among us whose wits are supposed to have been sharpened to the highest pitch is only another proof of their vanity or mental inertia.
Once we have understood how necessary it is to concentrate the persuasive forces of propaganda on the broad masses of the people, the following lessons result therefrom:
That it is a mistake to organize the direct propaganda as if it were a manifold system of scientific instruction.
    The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. If this principle be forgotten and if an attempt be made to be abstract and general, the propaganda will turn out ineffective; for the public will not be able to digest or retain what is offered to them in this way. Therefore, the greater the scope of the message that has to be presented, the more necessary it is for the propaganda to discover that plan of action which is psychologically the most efficient. (p.156)

    The worst of all was that our people did not understand the very first condition which has to be fulfilled in every kind of propaganda; namely, a systematically one-sided attitude towards every problem that has to be dealt with.(p.157)

    The aim of propaganda is not to try to pass judgment on conflicting rights, giving each its due, but exclusively to emphasize the right which we are asserting. Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. (p.158)

    The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. As soon as our own propaganda made the slightest suggestion that the enemy had a certain amount of justice on his side, then we laid down the basis on which the justice of our own cause could be questioned. The masses are not in a position to discern where the enemy’s fault ends and where our own begins. In such a case they become hesitant and distrustful, especially when the enemy does not make the same mistake but heaps all the blame on his adversary.(p.158)

    No matter what an amount of talent employed in the organization of propaganda, it will have no result if due account is not taken of these fundamental principles. Propaganda must be limited to a few simple themes and these must be represented again and again. Here, as in innumerable other cases, perseverance is the first and most important condition of success. (p.159)

    It is not the purpose of propaganda to create a series of alterations in sentiment with a view to pleasing these blase gentry. Its chief function is to convince the masses, whose slowness of understanding needs to be given time in order that they may absorb information; and only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on the memory of the crowd.
Every change that is made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula. In this way alone can propaganda be consistent and dynamic in its effects.
    
Only by following these general lines and sticking to them steadfastly, with uniform and concise emphasis, can final success be reached. Then one will be rewarded by the surprising and almost incredible results that such a persistent policy secures. (p.160-161)

    • junican Says:

      Rose has brought out attention to that passage from time to time. It is a good thing to keep in front of our minds.

      I agree that we must be truthful. My main point is to make simple statements. There is no need to provide proof at the time. Occasionally, someone will ask for your evidence, in which case provide the link and a brief summary. Sometimes people want discuss the matter – do so if you wish – but I prefer to minimise such discussions, especially if I suspect that the person is a Zealot. They may well be trying to ‘cast doubts’ on your stuff!

  3. beobrigitte Says:

    They really want total PROHIBITION.

    They can want what they want. The public decides what they can have. I am a member of this public. And a VOTER.

    I agree with kin_free above.

    All very well but we should ensure that any slogans used are always squeaky clean and TRUTHFUL.

    The anti-smoker Achilles heel is the fact that they lie or grossly exaggerate their arguments all the time and this can be demonstrated.

    I’d be inclined to suggest that we use the anti-smokers’ slogans:

    “Tar filled lungs” and “dirty blood” are not desired! Ban smokers from donating organs and blood!

    And, yes, it is is not in good taste – but it does iinduce questions with respect to anti-smokers’ statements.

    • junican Says:

      How about this:

      “Did you see that TV advert which showed that smokers have black blood? Can I take it that you would refuse a blood transfusion from a smoker, even if it was the only way to save your life?”

  4. garyk30 Says:

    11. Smoking does not harm children.
    There are ‘no’ smoking related deaths below the age of 30 and 75% of such deaths are over the age of about 70.

    12. Smoking is not a disease and can not be listed on a death certificate as the ’cause’ of death.
    Therefore, smoking has never been the ’cause’ of death for anyone.

    13. Have you ever noticed, the idea of ugly cig packs is proposed by ugly people?

    14. Both smokers and never-smokers have the same chance of ‘NOT’ dying from all of the smoking caused diseases.

    Since constant repetition is the key, there must be some way of getting all of us to repeat the same points.

    A clearing house of some sort to sift out the Gold from the rubble.

    • junican Says:

      A ‘central bank’ might be a better description.

      Talking about children and ‘smoking related deaths’, numerous children die from them. There are children who die from LC, but in tiny numbers. It is the claim that smoking has anything to do with it that is ludicrous. Those children could only have contracted these diseases it there was something wrong with them, genetically, I suppose.

  5. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Re: “(The actuality was almost certainly that they did no such thing and that they are Zealots pretending). Some people would then ‘recollect’ the same sort of thing. Despite never actually experiencing such an effect, they would declare, “And the same happened to me!”

    Junican, I’d mentioned on your “Calling Out The Zealots” blog of a week or so ago some research I did using Google’s NGram feature. By choosing the right phrases and concepts we can see when the antismoking movement inserted things into the public consciousness and did, literally, brainwash the mass population into believing that “everyone has always felt this way.”

    The best quick example is to search for the phrase

    like licking an ashtray

    (as in, “Kissing a smoker is like…). You can see where it was created (mid-1970s) and where and how strongly it took off in the public consciousness.

    Here’s are a few more I just tried:

    stink of cigarette smoke

    The phrase simply didn’t exist in written (as in books at least) English language until 1963/64 with the US Surgeon General’s Report, and it disappeared after that until a resurgence in 1981 — and has skyrocketed since then.

    People under 40 years old or so nowadays would probably almost universally believe that those two phrases have been commonly used for hundreds of years by nonsmokers. But in reality, they, and the concept/world-view they represent, are something new in the world, something artificial, false, and consciously created in order to fiddle with people’s minds in much the same way that Orwell’s NewSpeak was designed to do.

    smoke free

    slightly existed before 1982, but its use climbed by 900% in the following 15 years.

    The phrase

    nicotine is the most addictive

    also slightly existed to some extent in the 70s/80s, but its use has grown by almost 1,000% since 1990.

    thank you for not smoking

    was created (by Ann Landers?) in 1973 and grew enormously until the early 90s (by which point I guess Antismokers didn’t feel the need to be so polite in their manipulations).

    The phrase

    nicotine is addictive

    has grown by either 10,000% or 100,000% or so since the late sixties.

    As I noted in the previous blog, Orwell had it right: “As thought can corrupt language, language can corrupt thought.”

    – MJM

  6. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    (This seems to have disappeared as I entered it. If it appears twice, then please delete this copy. Thanks!)

    Re: “(The actuality was almost certainly that they did no such thing and that they are Zealots pretending). Some people would then ‘recollect’ the same sort of thing. Despite never actually experiencing such an effect, they would declare, “And the same happened to me!”

    Junican, I’d mentioned on your “Calling Out The Zealots” blog of a week or so ago some research I did using Google’s NGram feature. By choosing the right phrases and concepts we can see when the antismoking movement inserted things into the public consciousness and did, literally, brainwash the mass population into believing that “everyone has always felt this way.”

    The best quick example is to search for the phrase

    like licking an ashtray

    (as in, “Kissing a smoker is like…). You can see where it was created (mid-1970s) and where and how strongly it took off in the public consciousness.

    Here’s are a few more I just tried:

    stink of cigarette smoke

    The phrase simply didn’t exist in written (as in books at least) English language until 1963/64 with the US Surgeon General’s Report, and it disappeared after that until a resurgence in 1981 — and has skyrocketed since then.

    People under 40 years old or so nowadays would probably almost universally believe that those two phrases have been commonly used for hundreds of years by nonsmokers. But in reality, they, and the concept/world-view they represent, are something new in the world, something artificial, false, and consciously created in order to fiddle with people’s minds in much the same way that Orwell’s NewSpeak was designed to do.

    smoke free

    slightly existed before 1982, but its use climbed by 900% in the following 15 years.

    The phrase

    nicotine is the most addictive

    also slightly existed to some extent in the 70s/80s, but its use has grown by almost 1,000% since 1990.

    thank you for not smoking

    was created (by Ann Landers?) in 1973 and grew enormously until the early 90s (by which point I guess Antismokers didn’t feel the need to be so polite in their manipulations).

    The phrase

    nicotine is addictive

    has grown by either 10,000% or 100,000% or so since the late sixties.

    As I noted in the previous blog, Orwell had it right: “As thought can corrupt language, language can corrupt thought.”

    – MJM

  7. moss Says:

    As a rule I am often accused of putting things in a nut shell, however, regarding genetics and longevity, I’m convinced that the old adage applies, “What you’re born for – you’ll eventually get.”
    And I’m happy to say that at sometime in their lives, this will apply to the zealots.
    What statistics don’t take into account is the number of people who quit, and within a short period of time – they’ve gone! Surely, I can’t be the only person on earth who has noticed this! Possibly, having a smoke or two protected them from something that the body’s immune system couldn’t cope with.

    • T-NM (@smofunking) Says:

      I remember reading an article about a couple of years back where an Indian doctor had discovered that a sizeable percentage of ex-smokers had died not long after giving up. As you say, it seemed to suggest that for some smoking may have beneficial properties but with all the smoking related misinformation I’ve been reading over the last few years it’s become increasingly difficult to believe anything that I haven’t personally witnessed.

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