Just in case you wonder where your tax money is going we have news about where $1.5 million of those dollars are going. The CDC and Pasadena Public Health are launching an ad campaign to discourage teens from vaping. The message they want to convey is that vapers are stupid sheep. That money could have been spent to discourage smoking but instead vaping is the target. More than that, vapers are the target.
The message is that vapers are mindless sheep following the heard and that is why they take up electronic cigarettes and vaping. The ad shows people with the heads of sheep vaping. The words that accompany the image state “Don’t follow the herd. Vaping effects are unknown, stupid sheep.” Another version is more offensive stating “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others. Know your place, stupid sheep.” These ads will appear on buses, bus shelters and on social media channels. Here is one of the ads.
Pasadena Health Department Anti Vaping Ad
The CDC is part of the funding behind this ad campaign. The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) arm of the CDC is supplying a three year $1.5 M grant to fund the campaign. The CDC is anti-vaping and has also taken out misleading anti-vaping ads in the past. For example they featured the health issues experienced by a smoker that had tried vaping and no someone that had experienced a health crisis because of vaping. This despite the fact that the CDC’s own e-cig data seems to indicate that vaping does not attract non-smokers. The CDC data also seemed to indicate a correlation between vaping and quitting smoking although that was not claimed by the CDC.
The argument about the efficacy of vaping aside, the idea that “stupid sheep” vapers would know their place as less equal citizens is especially striking. Calling us stupid and assigning vapers a lower strata in the society are frightening assessments of our community.
Are people who drink alcohol also stupid sheep? What about smoking? The intention of preventing teens from taking up vaping is a worthy cause and they should especially be targeting smoking. NATHA, Neighbors Acting Together Helping All, is a local group that helped shape the message. Where they fail is understanding the difference between vaping and smoking and they show no understanding at all regarding why people vape.
Gregory Conley calls this campaign a waste of money. Trying to appeal to an idea by denigrating others may be effective politically, but it does nothing to enhance understanding or solve problems. The insulting aspect of this ad campaign will only create unnecessary animosity and further misunderstanding. This tax payer funded anti-vaping campaign is mean spirited, ignorant and a disservice to the interests of public health.