Wednesday 24 August 2011

More Tobacco Control Group-Think Fail

Your host was blessed in once having a blunt Grandmother with some quality sayings. One which leapt into my mind recently was this doozy (earthy grammar left in for historical accuracy).

"When everyone is thinking the same, they ain't thinking at all"
She said that in the 70s but it applies like a mofo to ASH and their often quite absurd friends.

You see, it's now the consensus amongst failure-addicted tobacco controllers that scaring the crap out of smokers is a winning strategy, despite the policy increasingly looking dated considering regular doubts as to its efficacy, as mentioned here on Monday.

the Ashtray Blog came to a similarly unflattering conclusion on graphic warnings when they ran their own survey recently. That will be discarded with an arrogant chuckle by ASH as being not peer-reviewed, natch. But this one at Medical News presumably has been.

University of Missouri researchers have found that using a combination of disturbing images and threatening messages to prevent smoking is not effective and could potentially cause an unexpected reaction.

"We noticed in our collection of anti-tobacco public service announcements a number of ads that contained very disturbing images, such as cholesterol being squeezed from a human artery, a diseased lung, or a cancer-riddled tongue," [Glenn] Leshner [of the Psychological Research on Information and Media Effects (PRIME) Lab at the University of Missouri School of Journalism] said. "Presumably, these messages are designed to scare people so that they don't smoke. It appears that this strategy may backfire."
Coupled with the ridiculous stance that anti-tobacco is taking in blocking non-combustible tobacco harm reduction at every opportunity, you'd be forgiven for believing that their role is to ensure smokers keep smoking until such time as they fall into line and buy products promoted by pharmaceutical paymasters.

ASH, of course, could blow this apart by coming out in unequivocal vocal endorsement of electronic cigarettes, smokeless and dissolvable tobacco, snus, and other harm reduction options. Not sure we'll see that anytime soon, mind.

Mortgages don't pay themselves, you know.


Anonymous said...

Using graphic images as a deterrent has been tried before.

Sinners back on show in medieval church

"So vivid is the restoration that you can see a tear on the cheek of a sinner. One of Britain's most extensively preserved medieval frescos has been returned to life after 150 years.

All that visitors could see of it until recently was a face and part of a foot dripping with blood in a blackened area in Holy Trinity church, Coventry.

These were a glimpse of a hidden gem known as the Doom Painting, done some 570 years ago by an unknown artist commissioned to terrify sinners into righteousness."


Anonymous said...

There are lots of paintings in various collections depicting hell fire. I guess they were intended to scare sinners. Now-a-days, we look at them with curiosity and for their artistic values.

How long will it be before kids are swapping cigarette packet horror pics?

Frank said...

Oh for the days of the Hell Fire Sermon. The nearest we've had were the old TUC conferences and the odd old Labour conference. What enjoyment they were, couldn't see who was on stage for the smoke!

Oh, memories, memories (and I'm a Thatcherite )

Could you imagine anti smoking with that lot? Dig 'em up, please!

Anonymous said...

Restorers amazed by Doom painting

"We've just found that in 1426 there was an earthquake in Coventry and everybody thought it was the Day of Judgment, and we think this may have been painted as a result."

With Jesus as its pinnacle, flanked by the Virgin Mary and John The Baptist, and backed by the apostles, the painting has strong images of heaven and hell.

Alewives (medieval barmaids) are shown naked but for their distinctive headwear, plummeting towards the mouth of hell - represented by a serpent's open jaws - while those who have been good ascend a staircase to heaven.

Archdeacons and bishops, also naked apart from their headwear, are also seen queuing to be judged by Christ, with one unlucky churchman seen cast down to hell.

John Burbidge, senior conservator, said the congregation in the 1400s were supposed to see the image and think twice about the consequence of sinning."

Coventry Telegraph 2002

On further investigation the theory seems to be that the alewives were condemned for watering the beer.
As they would see the image every time they went to church, it was probably designed to keep them on the straight and narrow.

I can't see Alcohol Concern making much use of that idea.


Lyn said...

So what if a lung or heart or whatever really do look like these images? When I die I won't give a damn what my insides look like and for anyone to think that I would is the height of stupidity!