Social Icons

Saturday 17 November 2012

How They Lie and Deceive

In August, I wrote about the use of castoreum, which is a [possible] additive in some cigarettes and tobacco products (along with many common food items and perfumes) and how the tobacco control industry distorts the facts to suit their agenda of hate against consumers of tobacco products and, of course, particularly the tobacco companies.  It's underhanded and false propaganda, which is exactly what we have come to expect from the anti-smokers. 

But the other day, I stumbled upon these two similar images that are currently being distributed through social media sites like Facebook, mainly directed at teenagers and to younger children.

This one comes with handy cut-outs for hours of entertainment for your kids.

These images are both incredibly funny and enormously sad.  Let's start with the funny.

Can you imagine some gormless anti-smoker running around town looking for piles of dog shit to stick one of those signs in to make their anti-smoker point?  Hilarious that imagery, definitely, and we wish you grown-up morons who should know better all of the best of luck in your quest.

But please -- and this hugely important -- do not ask your kids to stick these signs into piles of dog poop, because there really is some nasty bacteria in animal waste that will certainly harm your child if they happen to rub fecal matter into their eyes or ingest it.  Seriously.  Your child could go blind (and that's why we have laws against dog fouling -- hell, it's why we ourselves use toilets rather than defecating in the street).

This campaign of misinformation and hate against smokers is ill-advised and possibly dangerous.  But potential child-harming aside, it is also sad because it's a distortion of the truth -- which is altogether even sadder because the group putting out this information and seemingly hoping to blind your children is an organisation run by the American Legacy Foundation called TRUTH. So the truth is that TRUTH are blatantly deceiving you with bullshit propaganda, trying to make you feel rather than think by linking ammonia with shit, by exploiting your lack of knowledge about chemicals and even the meaning of the word chemical (i.e. that all chemicals are toxic -- they aren't). They even say they love smokers, which is bullshit. They probably don't. In all likelihood, they hate you, and I base that opinion on the bullshit propaganda they put out there.

Ammonia is certainly found in fecal matter, and it's in tobacco as well, sometimes added during the leaf-curing process and also produced naturally during the burning process.  But ammonia is everywhere all the time. It is a naturally-occurring chemical that is vital for life on this planet, and it's even out there in space. It's in the air. It's in the foods you eat. Fish make ammonia, too. Wikipedia states that (emphases added) "[a]mmonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or indirectly, is also a building-block for the synthesis of many pharmaceuticals [...]."  Good enough for Big Pharma, so why isn't it good enough for tobacco?  And hey, guess what?  You produce ammonia in your body, all the time, every day of your life. It's in your breath, it's in your blood. Livers and kidneys.  It's part of your chemical make-up. In large enough quantities, ammonia can be very toxic, and it doesn't smell very nice at all. But in the case of your body's production of ammonia, as well as the amounts found in tobacco and tobacco smoke (or any smoke for that matter), we're talking trace elements that are insufficient to cause anyone harm.

It is wrong to associate a vital chemical for life with the excretions of Sparky, your pet Labrador. We may as well blame oxygen for all of the world's woes. But the tobacco control industry, formed of several groups like ASH, and TRUTH, and FRESH, and CRUK, and even the gloriously taxpayer-funded Department of Health Hate... they are masters of deception and spin. They don't tell you the whole truth about ammonia.  Most of the time, they don't even tell the truth. They will say that tobacco companies add ammonia to create a freebase nicotine, designed to instantly addict you to nicotine. That is theory, and so far it seems to be untrue. You can even read about it on the BBC's web site.

So here's some truth for you. The stuff that is added to tobacco during the curing process is not harmful. The flavours, like chocolate and honey, that are also added to tobacco during the curing process are not designed to hook the next generation of smokers or three-year-olds for that matter.  When tobacco leaves are cured, the chemical properties of the leaf are altered, sometimes for the worse depending on the type of tobacco, so additives and other ingredients are added to restore some of the balance in the taste or flavour. We do this with most of our food, and our wine and beers? Why wouldn't it be done for tobacco, too?

The tobacco control industry is lying to people to promote their agenda of hate against tobacco companies and especially smokers. It's the New Inquisition. They will say and do anything to make people hate smokers, to turn ordinary people into hateful activists, particularly using your children to do their work for them. They will rig consultations in their favour. They will produce studies that have no scientific merit whatsoever to support any and all of the goals. All to make you stop doing something they do not like.

There are definitely possible health risks associated with smoking, and many smokers will also say that there are many possible benefits to smoking. We all know the risks. We have all been adequately informed, and not even plain packaging will increase our awareness level of the risks, no matter what these awful people say. At some point, we all make a choice and ultimately we are responsible for ourselves.  It is not the government's job to teach your children about the risks of smoking -- it is definitely not TRUTH's job, nor is it any charity's responsibility.  It is your job as a parent.

And isn't it about time you started taking ownership of your responsibilities as parents?  Because when we leave it to the government to parent your children or the organisations who have a clear agenda of hate, we all stand to lose a great deal.