Archive for December, 2004

Oh boy, here we go.

The new, flavored cigarettes from Camel have anti-tobacco activists up in arms. Many teens seem to like them, and the manufacturers said the brand is in demand.

The cigarettes come in flavors like lime, berry, pineapple and coconut.

Jehova said that the cigarettes are selling fast. That has anti-smoking activists worried. Dr. Sandra Weibel said it is obvious children are the target.

“I can’t imagine adults in any way would want flavored cigarettes,” Weibel said.

Weibel is the spokeswoman for the American Lung Association. She looked at Camel ads on the computer and said she believes they are marketed for teens.

The writer of this news article didn’t have any trouble finding kids to quote in support of the anti-smoking viewpoint:

“They’re kind of tasty. It sounds like a gimmick for kids, you know. I walk in there, I see the bright colors and I’m, like, ‘I need that cigarette,'” said Kenny Silver, 18, a high school senior.

“It’s all colorful and really cool and groovy and they look nice and, of course, people automatically think, ‘Oh, nice, I want to smoke these now,'” said Hedi Lowe, 18, also a high school senior.

I could point out that both of these kids are 18, which is of legal age to buy tobacco products.

What is with this obsession anti-smoking activists have with “colorful + flavors = marketing to kids”? How is this any different from buying cherry-almond flavored pipe tobacco (which has been around for decades)?

Kids are the only people who find different colors and flavors pleasing? Does something mystical happen when we turn 18 that causes us to start wanting the world to be rendered in shades of off-white and gray, and for everything to taste like oatmeal and Metamucil (which I think is orange flavored)?

TheraFlu comes in lemon and apple-cinnamon flavors. Most cough syrup is some kind of fruit flavor. Pepto-Bismol tastes like pink Necco wafers. Throat lozenges usually have some kind of pleasant flavor, like honey lemon or cherry or orange. Do we conclude from this that the companies making these products are specifically targeting children? That adults would gleefully choke down whatever medicinal concoction they come up with if there were a better-tasting alternative?

As for the objection to “candy flavors”, what would they prefer? Pine fresh? Brussels sprouts? Maybe a nice mahi mahi aftertaste?

WTF, people. This just reinforces my suspicion that the real agenda of all these anti-whatever activists is to stop people from having any kind of fun. For them the ideal world is a puritanical, teetotaling, body-covered-from-neck-to-ankles kind of place where nobody smiles or enjoys life.

(Incidentally, if the American Lung Assocation wonders why I don’t make charitable donations to them anymore, it’s because of asshattery like this. I’ll save my money for the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team and the Ayn Rand Institute.)

One of the things I have seriously contemplated doing lately is getting some heavy card stock and making some large signs to carry with me in the car. They would have messages for other drivers on them, with some in mirror text for displaying to the asshat in front of you. Things like, “RELAX”, “HANG UP AND DRIVE”, “STOP TAILGATING”. You know, nothing vulgar, just getting the point across.

Apparently I’m not the only person to have this idea. Now you can buy a set of cards like this, neatly spiral bound and organized with tabs for quickly selecting the sign you want. Many of them have vulgar alternatives if you’re feeling like getting shot at. There are some blank cards included for you to write your own messages.

You know you want them.