Friday, May 13, 2005

Ban the Flavor for the Kid's Sake

Do they not teach problem solving skills in schools anymore? Is this what standardized testing has done to our society?

Congress is considering to ban flavored cigarettes. The rationale is that since more young people are smoking flavored cigarettes than older people, the flavoring might specifically target/appeal to teens, causing an increase in teen smoking.

Associated Press via CNN.com:

"These are designed to attract younger smokers," said Michael Bopp of the American Cancer Society. "We don't want to see a product introduced that will give back the gains we've made in this state in reducing teenage smoking.""

Yes, targeting the flavor will obviously prevent increases in teen smoking. WTF???

My problem solving skills have come to a different conclusion.

Maybe the problem with cigarettes is that nicotine is more addictive than heroine. That's a scientific fact.

Maybe teenagers start smoking because they are stressed, have access to some money, are influenced by their peers and celebrities, and/or are into making their own decisions. Teens try a lot of things that aren't being marketed. How do you explain that? I don't see big E adds in Teen People.

Maybe fewer people over the age of 25 smoke flavored cigarettes than the number of teens, not because the flavoring targets teens, but because people have a label/brand loyalty to the particular cigarrette that they first tried. Did you ever notice that people who smoke Reds in the hardpack NEVER smoke V. Slims in the hard pack and get annoyed if they have to buy Reds in the soft pack, no matter what the price difference is? This is a social science fact. By the time you are 25, you are probably smoking the brand you will smoke when you are 85, and you most likely are not going to try something different. Do you know how hard it is to get a 25-year old to switch from Coke to Pepsi?

It's what one calls a Red Herring. Read some Sherlock Holmes.

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