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US Dept of Health Scare Tactic Commercials

Has anyone else noticed the new commercials the U.S. Department of Health is putting out against smoking? They are all over the TV and as ads on the web right now, which must be costing a very pretty penny (of ours).

One has a man who tells us that smoking caused his heart attack, and he shows a scar down his chest and says he never thought smoking would do this to him. Now, there are innumerable known causes for heart attacks as well as unknown causes, and no doctor could possibly definitively say that the sole cause of someone's heart attack was smoking.

Another has a woman who said she had a stroke because she was a smoker, and now is partially paralyzed, and advises to "enjoy your independence" while you can. There may be studies which claim that smoking increases your risk for stroke, but once again no doctor could definitively say that someone's stroke was caused by smoking and otherwise would not have occurred. As with heart attacks, strokes are a natural cause of death and can happen to anyone, smoker or not.

Smoking is not good for you, we all know that. Most who have gone through public schooling are terrified into that belief at a very young age these days. But neither is alcohol good for a person, and I don't see them doing scare tactic commercials about trans fats or obesity either, which is competing for the supposed leading cause of death in this country. And as we all know, there are very many harmful products legally sold in this country which are given little or no attention by the Health Dept.

I can't be the only one absolutely seething that they would use our tax dollars (if anyone knows how much this campaign is costing, I'd love to know as everywhere I turn I see these commercials now) to make false claims in order to scare people into doing with their bodies what the government wants them to do with their bodies.

I have written a complaint to them here: http://www.hhs.gov/feedback.html I encourage everyone to do the same and feel free to copy and paste any part of my post to use therein. But I also feel like there is more that could be done to protest this deceptive splurge of our tax money. If they were simply presenting hard facts, that would be one thing; but to employ scare tactics and dubious medical claims in order to frighten the masses into abandoning tobacco, and using our money to do it...this is wrong. This is not the government's role in a free society.

Should I also start a petition? Any suggestions for how we can peacefully protest this outrageous campaign would be much appreciated in the comments below!

That link to the form at the Health Department's website only takes 50 words and I had 363. 50 words is not enough nearly enough to communicate what I want to communicate to them. Here is their mailing address and phone #:

Mailing Address and Telephone Number

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Toll Free: 1-877-696-6775

If anyone finds an email for them, please post it. Thanks!

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My mother died 2 years ago from liver cancer from all the drugs

she was prescribed. She had diabetes and was controlling it through diet alone and then they thought it best to put her on insulin, blood thinners, diuretics etc. As soon as she got a side effect from one drug, they put her on another drug to combat it. She must have had over 15 or 16 prescriptions she was taking.

I'm so sorry

Prescription drugs can be very dangerous. I'm very sorry to hear that.

A lot of elderly people in this country are on more prescription medications than they can keep track of :(


Have I ever mentioned what a great place the DP is to air out our grievances? Love the DP and all of you! :)