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Saturday, 7 April 2012

The CDC Pretty Much Destroys the Argument for Plain Packs

Look, I'm not making of light of anyone who has become ill, whether their illness was from smoking or tobacco use or from any other factor.  The truth is, all of us can become inflicted by some illness regardless if we are lifelong non-smokers or a habitual smoker.  It's called life. Diseases were rampant long before we started smoking.  And while people do genuinely get ill from tobacco use, just like people can get ill from peanuts or anything on this planet, the truth is that cigarette pack designs have fuck all to do with taking up smoking.

Consider, if you will, the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) website chock full of ex-smoker testimonials; all of them suffering from some horrible affliction you wouldn't even wish on your neighbour that invites screaming tranny hookers over to his flat four times a week while playing Lady Gaga's songs at 140 decibels.  No.

Still, not one of the biographies mentions that someone was attracted to smoking by the pack design.  Not one. You would think there is at least one that said, "I started smoking because of that pack design.  I was hypnotised and enthralled by its relentless allure, like I was watching David Hasselhoff in Baywatch, or that weird guy in The Mask."

This the CDC we're talking about. You would expect them to be just a little more scientific than, say, you're typical hater like Simon Chapman or Dreadful Arnott.

And to be fair to the CDC, they are not kind at all on smoking or tobacco use. They don't advocate it.  But let's read teaser text of each of these testimonies on their site, and then you'll see that packaging has sweet FA to do with taking up smoking.  (Of course, by posting this, I expect the fASHists to make a call to the CDC to have them remove/change the proof, because that is how the hate rolls.)

Annette's Story 

Annette experimented with cigarettes as a teenager, smoking occasionally. But by the time she turned 20, Annette was a regular smoker.

Beatrice's Story 

Beatrice, age 40, is the mother of two boys and lives in New York. She tried her first cigarette at age 7, her second at 11, and then began smoking regularly when she was 13. She had friends who smoked, and she wanted to be “cool” like them. 

Brandon's Story 

Thirty-one-year-old Brandon started smoking in his mid-teens, and by 18, he was diagnosed with Buerger’s disease, a disorder linked to tobacco use that causes blood vessels in the hands and feet to become blocked and can result in infection or gangrene. 

Christine's Story 

During high school, Christine wanted to fit in, so she began smoking at age 16. She became addicted and continued smoking for 28 years. 

James's Story 

James started smoking at age 14 in an attempt to be like his father. Thirty years later he decided to quit and adopt a much healthier lifestyle. 

Jessica's Story 

It’s not easy being a single parent, and for Jessica, it’s especially challenging. Not only is she a student, a bank employee, and a handball player who competes nationally, this 28-year-old also is the mother of a child with severe asthma. 

Marie's Story 

Marie lives in New York and began smoking in high school with her friends. They would congregate regularly to smoke the cigarettes they took from family members.

Roosevelt's Story 

Like many smokers, Roosevelt started experimenting with cigarettes in his teens. But his addiction became entrenched during his time in the military. 

Shane's Story 

Shane began smoking at age 18 and was only 34 when the damage to his body from smoking became evident. 

Sharon's Story 

Growing up in the seventies, it seemed to Sharon like everyone smoked cigarettes. She was only 13 when she took her first puff. In no time, her casual smoking would turn into a full-blown and expensive addiction. 

Shawn's Story 

Fourteen-year-old Shawn was only trying to make friends and fit in at a new school when he started taking cigarettes from his father. 

Suzy's Story 

Suzy, age 62, came from a family of smokers, so it wasn’t unusual when she began sneaking cigarettes at age 15. Suzy grew up and married; she and her husband were exemplary entrepreneurs. 

Terrie's Story 

In high school, Terrie was a pretty cheerleader who competed on the cheer circuit. Her father was a smoker, and with more and more of her friends smoking, Terrie soon found herself lighting up in social settings. 

Wilma's Story 

Wilma can’t point to a specific reason she started smoking cigarettes. Her siblings smoked, and by her early teens she was sneaking cigarettes from her sister — beginning an addiction that would last 30 years. 

Look, I know you're intelligent enough to see the overarching theme above.  I'm not going to spell it out of you.  But if you need to make a limited case against plain packs, why not start with the CDC's own site?

(apologies for any grammatical errors or typos -- we've absolutely caned two nice bottles of wine and now we're having a nightcap, as it were.  While the booze is still cheap, of course.)