Are Truth ads fair?

These kids look like crusaders championing the rights of victimized smokers and fighting the big bad tobacco companies. That’s great, it’s a free country and you can campaign against whatever you want. However, they do it on television, a medium on which cigarette companies can’t advertise their product. Cigarette companies can’t go and say, “OK, there’s ammonia in our cigarettes, but it’s in such a minute amount you’d have to smoke ten cartons a day to be affected over the course of your life” [I don’t know if it’s true, I just need an example]. These kids could stretch any little factoid into the truth and the cigarette companies can’t defend themselves. So a) how is this legal? and b) is it fair?

My beef with them is that they use bad science. They list all these chemicals (oooh, scary!) that are in cigarette smoke without saying anything about the levels.

Really, you could take the ads and replace “cigarette smoke” with “tap water” and still be pretty truthful.

No. In fact, last time I checked (at their site, no less) they were flagrantly violating the agreement the government had made with the tobacco companies in order to secure their funds.

I hope these little disinformation bastards get sued for more than RJ Reynolds.

Scare tactics. That was the phrase I was trying to think of. They use scare tactics. Carry on.

[sub]This is why I stay out of GD.[/sub]

I’d have a lot more sympathy for the tobacco companies except for the fact that they fund the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, which doesn’t exactly present the most truthful and scientifically supported propaganda – I mean, information – either…

Or if they hadn’t willfully lied to the public time and time again about the hazards of using their product…

Oh, wait. No I wouldn’t. Tobacco companies getting lied about? Boo-fricking-bloody-hoo, that’s what I have to say.

That being said, the “truth” ads do seem to be crap. I agree that they should be stopped, but I really can’t be all that mad at them – at least the motive isn’t pure greed in this case. That being said, I don’t find their advertising particularly convincing, but I’m not a smoker, so I guess that doesn’t matter much.

Fair, schmair. All I know is that my friend’s mother works for a tobacco company,was promoted recently and quit smoking cold turkey. She has also encouraged her son’s friends on many occasion to do so, as well. Aside from all the known effects and poisons, there seems to be something else. I asked her, and she said it’s classified information, no joke.

They didn’t say anything about amounts. The fact that those chemicals are in the cigarette smoke is a message in itself. Oh, and fair, cigarettes are addictive. That is what makes it fair. Why are you guys so quick to support these companies anyway? They kill people and that is all Truth is trying to say.

I have little sympathy for mass murderers. Not only did the tobacco industry lie about their product being dangerous for years and market their products to kids, but they intentionally added chemicals to their cigarettes to make them more addictive.

Smoker chiming in here.

The “Truth” is that if you smoke and don’t want want to quit these ads won’t convince you to quit.

Hell, even getting lung cancer most likely won’t make you quit.

I believe these ads are aimed at the people who know someone that smokes, so that they can then nag the person to death to quit.

Lesse, we have one person promoting ignorance, one person hinting at vague but hideous information, one person who doesn’t know what is in the water he drinks, one who would rise up against the store clerks chanting “Cancer Merchants! Cancer Merchants!” (as if he didn’t have enough indignities in his life)…

Well, I hope this goes somewhere. I really do. I haven’t had this much fun since the last Fact of Fiction with the guy who played Riker on STTNG.

As someone who recently quit smoking, the only thing that made me quit was the fact that I wanted to quit.

The nicotiene patch helped, but it was because I wanted to quit.

Cat Fight, I do believe that you are talking out of your ass. And if your talking about the heroin, all good smokers know that one. Its in the filter.

Smoking causes cancer, true. But smokers choose to start smoking.

I'm 27, the Surgeon General's warning has been there since I was in 2nd grade. Any one my age or younger knew the risks before they lit their first cigarette.  

Tobbaco companies don’t kill people. They sell a harmful product to willing customers, who light up and kill themselves.

Some of the ads are borderline illegal. There’s a lawsuit now regarding one of the radio “Truth” ads that went something like this:

(Guy calls large tobacco firm, speaks to woman (either a receptionist or PR rep), tape records conversation.)

Guy: “I’m a professional dog walker and I’ve thought of a great way to make some extra money. I understand urea is a component of cigarettes and urea is also found in dog urine. So I’ve collected a bunch of dog urine that I want to sell you so that you could add it to cigarettes.”

Woman: “Er…”

Guy: “I’ve got tons of it, and I think me selling it to you to add to cigarettes would benefit us both.”

Woman: “Er…”

and so on.

The lawsuit was filed for two main reasons. 1) Recording tobacco company employee without her knowledge and using her voice in an ad without her permission. and 2) Urea is a natural component of tobacco and the urea in cigarettes does not come from dog urine.

I hate to say it, but I agree with them.

For me, at least, this sort of ad is counterproductive. Whenever I see or hear something like this, I just think “whiny brats”, and spark up.

Hey, whiny brats, those ads you are making are broadcast using RADIO WAVES - you know, like you get in a MICROWAVE OVEN. Your ads are cooking us all alive!

Oh wait, that would be twisting facts and exaggerating dangers, wouldn’t it?

Truth is a campaign of the American Legacy Foundation, which was founded as a result of the 1998 tobacco lawsuit. The Foundation says the campaign is successful, and has led many people to quit smoking.

Perhaps, but not all smokers fall into that category.

You have smokers who desperately want to quit, and smokers who have absolutely no such intention. You also have a wide margin between those two extremes, wherein smokers have different levels of desire to quit. I don’t think it’s rational to dismiss those ads by saying, “Well, they’ll never convince the hardcore smokers who have no desire to give up their tobacco.”

Hmm, I went digging at and couldn’t find the letter anymore. Last time I saw it was when they still owned, which is now owned by someone entirely uninvolved in the whole tobacco fiasco.

The long and the short of it was that a lawyer for one of the tobacco companies (I think Phillip Morris, but unfortunately I don’t recall) was warning them that their ads were violating the settlement terms, and that if they continued to violate those terms they would lose their funding.

In what I consider to be representative of my opinion of the truth folks, they basically mocked the letter on their page. I’m not really defending the tobacco companies in any way, here, but I think these truth people need to tone down the exaggerated rhetoric.

I am going to keep digging for that letter, but I fear they don’t have it posted anymore on their site since the move. It seems their whole format has changed. Maybe that letter ended up having a real impact, I don’t know.

Hmm. Sounds to me like they’re tempting people to light up and kill themselves.

[I can’t stand those adds. I don’t smoke and I hate being around people who are smoking, but that’s their business.

What I hate is the smug, self righteous, post Gen-X tone of these Truth commercials. Oooo! Look at me!! I’m so “hip” and “edgy” and “in your face” as I stack fake bodybags in front of an office.

They are so over the top and exagerated (ie the dog piss thing) that it makes you question the validity of anything they say.

Exactly my point. The Truth ads keep accusing tobacco companies of murder. At worst Reynolds and the rest are guilty of assisting suicide.

The warning in every ad and on every pack and carton say 'You know these things cause cancer, lung diseases, are harmful to fetuses and just bad for you in general, right?' . The smoker says 'Yeah, I know' buys a pack and lights right up. No one forced them to start smoking. No one forces them to continue. Yes, nicotine is physically addictive. If you can't quit cold turkey, or taper off, there are patches and gums.