Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lets Face It

Lets Face It is the slogan for the anti-tobacco campaign for St Louis County. It comes from the 7.6 million dollar stimulus grant to St Louis County. They have run commercials over the past several months. One commercial caught my attention. It wasn't that the message was new or unique. It was what the message included. The commercial is several young people making statements. One of the statements is "smoking makes you look cool". The message is that people say all kinds of weird things that aren't true. The statement that I found odd was "One day I'll find calculus useful." Now we have a government agency making fun of a higher education. Are we now using tax dollars to dissuade people from higher learning? Now I don't believe that anyone is going to drop calculus because of this commercial. Of course I don't believe that anyone is going to quit smoking either. One idea did pop in my mind. Of course they don't like people with higher math skills. The entire anti-smoking campaign is built on the general populations lack of math skill. If you understand how to read the research you understand that the "risk" is so small that it can't be measured. You would understand that driving to a restaurant or bar is hundreds of times more risky. You would ask questions that they can't answer honestly. I'm sure this was not their intent. I don't have a problem with programs that help people stop smoking. Does it really take millions of dollars to advertise a website that regurgitated all the quit smoking strategies. Even worse it pushes people away from far more effective methods of auricular therapy, electronic cigarettes and cold turkey. The message is that the only way to do it is with pharma nicotine replacement drugs and counseling. Its really a taxpayer paid advertisement for pharmaceutical solutions. I wouldn't have a problem if it was effective. I wouldn't have a problem if it disseminated unbiased information. I wouldn't have a problem if as a taxpayer I didn't have to pay this money back. Lets Face It, they are more interested in pushing pharma products then helping people quit. Lets face it, it's a complete waste of money.

Tony Palazzolo