Posted in: Odd News

Smoking is worse than rape and terrorism


I realize that smokers are the lowest scum of the earth lately and that we get bastardized and ostracized worse than the homeless, the drug addicts and the drunks but now we are being told we’re worse than rapists and terrorists. At least that is the position that The American Medical Association Alliance is taking when it comes to the movies. Yes, that’s right our favorite people in scubs is lobbying the Motion Picture Association to apply a mandatory R-rating to any move that has smoking in it.

This is because, according to a report just out via CNN, these green suited goodie two shoes are blaming movies for being the cause of one-third to one-half of all young smokers in the United States. The prime example of the incredible social pressure being applied to our weak-willed innocent babies to get them hooked on smoking is the gratuitous smoking in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

American Medical Association Alliance President Sandi Frost used as her chief example of a movie with “gratuitous smoking” this month’s blockbuster “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” which was rated PG-13 “for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity.”

“Millions of children have been exposed to the main star of the film, Hugh Jackman, with a cigar in his mouth in various scenes,” Frost said. “I’m willing to bet that not one child would have enjoyed that movie or Mr. Jackman’s performance any less if he hadn’t been smoking.”

Of course Twentieth Century Fox, the studio responsible for the movie, have come out saying otherwise

A spokesman for Twentieth Century Fox, the studio responsible for the Wolverine movie series, said Jackman’s cigar was never lit and it was limited to just two scenes.

In one scene, the cigar is shot out of his mouth, prompting Jackman’s Wolverine character to suggest its loss would lead to clean living — an anti-smoking statement — the studio spokesman said.

He said that while the Wolverine character has a cigar in his mouth in almost every panel of the comic book series, producers made “a conscious decision” to limit the cigar in the movie.

This hasn’t stopped the doctors though in their push to have the MPAA add smoking to its list of factors used in determining the ratings given to movies. A list that runs from cursing, lewd gestures right up to rape and terrorism.

The MPAA has come out and said though that they have already been doing this to an extent for the last two years. Angela Martinez, an MPAA spokesperson, said that smoking is rated like all the other factors which includes sex and violence. This isn’t enough for the doctors though because they what it to be an absolute condition of a movie getting the R-rating not just a factor.

As a side note it took me longer to find a graphic with Wolverine smoking a cigar than it took me to write the post and it wasn’t even a great graphic at that

[hat tip to NewsaramaUpdate: I should also give proper credit to Russ over at Newsarama for the inspiration for this post’s headline – sorry about that Russ]

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17 Responses to “Smoking is worse than rape and terrorism”

  1. Sharon Kaye

    And yet in the 1950's, 60's and 70's physicians accepted moola from the cigarette companies and even appear in advertising, sitting in their white coats, smoking cigarettes. Remember the Camel ads? “The doctors' choice is America's choice!” and “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.”

    But what about today? Ethic Soup blog has an article about doctors who do not wash their hands. It's the number one preventative against the swine flu say infectious disease experts, the CDC and even President Obama. What's really frightening is the fact that the chances are only 50-50 that the doctor treating you in the hospital has washed her/his hands. (This includes surgeons preparing to operate on you) The odds are the same as flipping a coin. Actually it's worse. According to the National Quality Forum, hand-washing compliance rates at hsopitals are generally LESS THAN 50 percent!

    Hospitals are desperate to get doctors to simply wash their hands and stop spreading infections throughout the hospital and are taking extraordinary means to try and influence them to do just that — including threatening termination their physician's hospital privileges and hidden surveillance cameras. You can read the article at:

  2. Russell Burlingame

    Yeah, it took me longer to find that (same) graphic of Jackman smoking a cigar (ultimately recovered from a cigar aficionado website) than it took me to research what issues were “the drug story” in 1970's “Amazing Spider-Man.”

  3. Paul Short

    Can't believe that I'm wasting my time replying to an anonymous troll, but it's the attitude I'm addressing rather than the person, so here's a story:

    Last summer I went into a takeout food place and placed my order. The shop was busy and they were out of the food I ordered, so I went outside to have a smoke and wait. While standing there, well away from the door, an SUV sat at the curb, idling away. A few minutes later a lady emerged from the takeout place and began coughing and fanning her face, an exaggerated gesture to let me know that my smoking was bothering her. Then she jumped into the SUV and it drove off.

    I thought to myself, you idiot. You have the gall to complain about my smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk when your hubby sits there at the curb with his 8 cylinder SUV belching out poison… and I'm the one doing something wrong?

    I challenge any non smoker to light up a cigarette and smoke it to the butt. Yes, anyone who is not used to it will cough and maybe even feel ill, but you'll still be alive afterwards. Now, go start your petroleum powered vehicle, get out, lie on the ground behind it and wrap your lips around the exhaust pipe and stay there for the same amount of time it would take to smoke a cigarette. You will either die from the poison right there, or end up in the emergency room at the nearest hospital.

    My point, if smoking bothers you, think about what you do yourself to others that's contributing to killing them, then either do something about that or shut the f@#k up about me having a cigarette.

  4. fra59e

    The self-pity dripping from this post is risible:
    “I realize that smokers are the lowest scum of the earth lately and that we get bastardized and ostracized worse than the homeless, the drug addicts and the drunks but now we are being told we’re worse than rapists and terrorists.”

    Let me comfort the poor dear. Patting him on the head, I assure him that it's going to be all right. He can smoke his cigarette, Grannie will understand he needs his fix, and I will tell all those nasty bullies to leave him alone.

    If he's under the age of sixty, then he took up the dirty habit AFTER it was well publicized that the stuff is toxic. But oh no no no I won't let anybody call him a dumb self-destructive fool. It's true but that would be so unkind.

    You see, it's really your right to smoke in public, the same as it is all right to masturbate or urinate in public. Those people who object when addicts have to surrender to their physiological need are being so mean. Oh, the poor smokers, my heart bleeds for them.

  5. Jared McMillan

    Why is smoking such a big deal? It's our choice to smoke or not smoke, yet non-smokers get their voices heard and their opinions forced upon everybody else. It p*sses me off to no end that everybody preaches equality, but the human populus are unequal on more levels than we can count. I'm tired of the labels, tired of the looks, tired of the criticisms that are given when all I want to do is relax. All bars, restaurants, and other businesses of are quickly becoming non-smoking establishments and that's their right. But, if in the future, someone wanted to open smoking-only establishments it would be labeled unconstitutional. What the f*ck is wrong with everybody? Are we so afraid of everything that we need to label/categorize everything so we can constitute our misunderstandings of the human psyche? And, once it has a label, it gives us just cause to be negative when it defies our thought process towards the construction of the world's mentality. I don't hate non-smokers, yet you better believe non-smokers will give you countless lectures about how bad it is for you. We're all dying. Our life is our own and what we make of it. All standards, lifestyles, and sociological categories are bullsh*t because we are individuals… individual in our likes, dislikes, mentality, idiosynchracies. Are we so afraid of this fact that the moment we find something in common with another person we have to dislike a person who hold the opposite ideals? Are we f*cking lemmings? Persecutions are becoming more and more apparent, no matter how miniscule the subject, i.e. smoking, and the MPAA is letting it be known. Since we still feel the need to break the American public down into racial hyphenates such as African-Americans, Asian-Americans, etc. (which really p*sses me off, they're AMERICANS!)…then I have a new one for our W-2's: Douchebag-Americans. Anybody who feels the need to impress their ideals on anyone w/ differing opinions instead of accepting human beings for who they are, this is their classification, their nomenclature. So congratulations Douchebag-Americans, I light up a cigarette in your honor.

  6. StevenHodson

    Excuse me but could you please let us know where it is okay in the civilized world for a man or woman to masturbate in public? And while you are at it let us know where you can legally stand on a street corner and take a piss without getting arrested?

    Do I know smoking is bad for me? Sure do.

    Do I also know that dickwads who drive Hummers or SUV's to the corner store spewing out all kinds of toxic shit that is poisoning our air more than an number of congregating smokers could ever imagine doing are nothing but as self-righteous bunch of irritating pussfaces – sure do.

    Do I also know that corporations spewing out more pollution per second and most of the time near high traffic areas with lots of kids around but get tax breaks all the time and to which governments turn a blind eye – sure I do.

    Yup smokers are the worst thing to ever hit our society – you keep on believing that and here's some more wool to help you sleep better at night.

  7. Martin Kinney

    As a non smoker and non stupid person I find the mandatory R rating for a film depicting smoking ridiculous. I also found it ridiculous when they suggested it because General Ross, in the last Hulk movie, smoked a cigar. The same argument, that it would promote teen smoking, was made then. Because, as we know, all kids want to be just like old fat guys. The fact that the same character was drunk and continuing to drink in a bar wasn't mentioned, because that is a much safer and healthier practice.

    Besides, I like smokers. They pay a lot in tax money. Tax money that doesn't have to be taken from me. We need to lay off the smokers. Let them smoke outdoors. New York, let them have the bars back (I'm not willing to relinquish restaurants, sorry). Let the money flow in to sponsor education, welfare and bloated government salaries. I find it so very hypocritical that we will make a fortune off the sale of tobacco while all the while condemning the smokers. If it's such a danger to one and all — make it illegal.

    Be nicer to the smokers until we find a way to make money off the rapists and terrorists.

  8. StevenHodson

    If that ever happens again Paul I suggest cracking up laughing in the person's face – works wonders for me :)

  9. StevenHodson

    finally some sanity – thank you. People might like to slam smokers and relegate to the darkest depths of hell but what they don't realize is that much of the tax burden – especially here in Canada – is carried by smokers. They pay – due to the exorbitant sales taxes – the highest taxes in the country and yet being a drunk or drug addict (prescription or otherwise) is okay. Ya alright.

  10. fra59e

    We all mostly agree today that discharging your bodily wastes in front of other people in public places is tacky. Spittoons were once commonplace and are now rarely seen any more. What smokers are slow to realize us that wastes from their nose and mouth are not more acceptable than spitting just because they are gaseous.

    They have no right to pick their noses and flick solid nasal waste on others – so what makes them think that their wastes are acceptable just because they are gaseous? Smokers have no more right to stink up other people's clothing with their smoke than they do to blow their nose and wipe their snot wastes on other people's clothing. Is that so hard to understand?

    If they can understand that people don't like them discharging odoriferous waste gases from the south end of their bodies, what makes them imagine that their bodily waste gases from the north end are any more welcomed?

    We all know that exhaust from cars is toxic, and we are doing a lot now to reduce that nuisance. What gives smokers specially privileged immunity from being told how disgusting they are? They are free if they wish to emigrate to beautiful Kabul, or how about Zimbabwe – I hear Robert Mugabe is hiring.

  11. fra59e

    This red herring post that tries to divert attention away from smoking by dwelling on SUVs, concludes:
    My point, if smoking bothers you, think about what you do yourself to others that's contributing to killing them, then either do something about that or shut the f@#k up about me having a cigarette.

    I do not choose to offer you my face as your toxic waste disposal site. End of story. My lungs are not your ashtray. Go away. I do not care if you smoke or what you smoke – in private or with your pathetic fellow addicts. Just do not expect others to passively put up with the filthy effects of your disgusting addiction.

  12. Russell Burlingame

    Steven, what's really funny is that Martin here is a friend of mine from my old hometown, who came to this post by way of either my Newsarama or Facebook link. So the final word on this story eight hours ago originated in the same place as the headline. Kind of poetic, if I hadn't come in here and ruined it with expository monologue!

  13. JPolansky

    The film and tobacco industries cooperated in six out of the last eight decades. The AMA has been pushing to break the connection for the last 25 years. This is not a new issue, but much of the public — like this blogger, apparently — do not know the history. Of course, that's the way the tobacco industry wants it.

    Since tobacco kills 5 million worldwide each year, and smoking on screen is a primary recruitment vehicle, as shown by rigorous studies involving thousands of adolescents, it is perfectly legitimate to subject it to the R-rating (US). One need not compare tobacco imagery to other on screen content already deemed unsuitable for younger adolescents: sexual situations, strong language, grisly violence and sexual violence. The case for R-rating tobacco imagery is compelling in itself: it will reduce adolescent exposure by half and avert the physical harm caused by that exposure proportionately.

    In the US alone, premature deaths averted in decades to come are estimated at 60,000 annually. Worldwide, the figure will be multiples of that — studies in Germany, Mexico and New Zealand all find that US films with smoking, which occupy 60-70% of world's screens at any given time, delver the bulk of tobacco impressions to young audiences and are powerful promoters of tobacco use.

    So — enjoy your indignation. But the physicians aren't the bad guys here. In the US, the tobacco companies reap $4 billion in lifetime sales revenue for each year's cohort of teen smokers recruited by smoking on screen. The undramatic antidote lies in an evidence-based update to existing rating systems.

  14. The Individual

    I don't understand why you act like smoking is somehow affecting you, your children, or the mexican at the restaurant serving you a hamburger.

    Read the statistics yourself, learn something about correlation and what it takes for two things to correlate, then conclude for yourself. What the AMA tells you is complete crap.

    Now, cigarettes, themselves, being dangerous is an entirely different discussion than whether second hand smoke is dangerous. Fact is, they couldn't tax and ban tobacco, unless they made you believe smoke was bad for you.

    It's all a lot of smoke and mirrors.

  15. The Individual

    This is counter intuitive. Going back to the 1950s, smoke free restaurants, bars, etc were always in operation. Before the smoking ban, numerous smoke free places, were there for you to go and not stink.

    Yet, you weren't content with that and made my smoking place change.

    You're retarded.

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