Copy and paste journalism

I did a post over “at my place” entitled, “The names have been changed – to make life easy”. It was supposed to highlight the way a new campaign for smokefree homes and cars is being reported in the local media.

When I say reported, I use the term loosely. These so called reporters are only churning out press releases from Tobacco Free Futures, the tax payer funded, nannying organisation that wants smoking to be banned in homes and cars.

This campaign is clearly designed to make smokers feel guilty and stop them smoking at home or in the car. After a while, this will be followed by a call for legislation. They will say all responsible smokers now take seven steps out but we need a law to stop the last irresponsible few.

It’s the standard Tobacco Control Industry tactic of ‘chipping away’.

Well to follow on from that post I’ve picked a few good examples from local papers, my own included.

They all start with the same bansturbatory call for smokers to stop smoking in their homes and cars to protect children. As I’ve said, this is just to make smokers feel guilty and soften them up prior to legislation.

(there’s a child in my house as I write this, 8pm on Friday. Her parents are non smokers but they’re not anti-smokers so they don’t mind bringing her round. I’m smoking in the front room and they are in the back room with Mrs Bucko. I haven’t taken seven steps out and nor would I do. It’s not necessary.)

The Bury Times:

A CAMPAIGN has been launched in Bury to signal the dangers that secondhand smoke can cause in enclosed spaces.

Mancunian Matters:

The dangers second-hand smoke can bring to children is being highlighted by a borough-wide smoke-free homes and cars campaign in Wigan.

Lancashire Telegraph:

A CAMPAIGN has been launched in Blackburn with Darwen to raise awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke in enclosed spaces.

Runcorn and Widness World:

A CAMPAIGN is being launched to warn of the dangers smoking in cars and homes can cause to children.

St Helens Star:

New campaign hammers out stark warning over impact of second-hand smoking on St Helens children

——-

The lie that 80% of tobacco smoke is invisible and odourless yet still causes every disease under the sun:

Bury Times:

Bury Council will support national TV and radio adverts highlighting that more than 80 per cent of second-hand smoke is invisible and odourless, but contains harmful cancercausing toxins and poisons that are unknowingly damaging children in Bury every day.

Mancunian Matters:

The campaign’s main aim is to highlight how despite 80% of second-hand smoke is invisible and odourless, it still contains carcinogens and poisons which are unknowingly damaging children.

Runcorn and Widness World:

More than 80% of secondhand smoke is invisible and odourless, yet contains harmful cancer causing toxins and poisons that are unknowingly damaging children in Halton every day.

St Helens Star

Health experts claim that more than 80% of second-hand smoke is invisible and odourless, yet contains harmful cancer causing toxins and poisons that are unknowingly damaging children in St Helens every day.

———–

Fake cost to the economy:

Bury Times:

In Bury 31,834 people smoke which, it is estimated, costs the local economy £52,400,000 every year in NHS costs, lost productivity, litter and fire damage.

Lancashire Telegraph:

In the borough, 28,315 people smoke, and it is estimated that it costs the local economy £46,000,000 every year in NHS bills, lost productivity, litter, and fire damage.

Runcor and Widness World:

In Halton 21,910 people smoke and it’s estimated that it costs the local economy £36 million every year in NHS costs, lost productivity, litter and fire damage.

St Helens Star:

Latest statistics reveal that in St Helens, 29,295 people smoke and it’s estimated it costs the local economy £48.2m every year in NHS costs, lost productivity, litter and fire damage.

————-

Fake number of children admitted to hospital for smoking related illnesses:

Bury Times:

In the Bury area, secondhand smoke results in at least 1,000 GP consultations a year and more than 30 hospital admissions.
Dr Peter Elton, director of public health for Bury, said: “Second-hand smoke causes a range of serious health problems for children and adults. We want to reduce the number of children who are admitted to hospital every year in Bury through the effects of second-hand smoke.

Mancunian Matters:

Backed by Wigan Council, the campaign has launched after stats revealed more than 800 incidents in the borough of children’s illnesses related to second-hand smoke last year alone.
Councillor Keith Cunliffe, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for health and adult services, said: “We want to reduce the number of children who are admitted to hospital every year in Wigan Borough through the effects of second-hand smoke.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Coun Mohammed Khan, executive member for health and adult social care, said: “Second-hand smoke causes a range of serious health problems for children and adults.
“We want to reduce the number of children who are admitted to hospital every year in Blackburn with Darwen through the effects of second-hand smoke.

Runcorn and Widness World:

“Secondhand smoke causes a range of serious health problems. We want to reduce the number of children who are admitted to hospital every year in Halton through the effects of secondhand smoke.”

St Helens Star:

St Helens Council leader, Barrie Grunewald said: “Second-hand smoke causes a range of serious health problems for children and adults. We want to reduce the number of children who are admitted to hospital every year in St Helens through the effects of second-hand smoke.
In the North West, second-hand smoke results in at least 34,000 GP consultations a year and over 1,100 hospital admissions.

——–

Children of smokers are 90% more likely to become smokers…

Bury Times:

Figures also show the children of smokers are 90 per cent more likely to become smokers themselves.

Mancunian Matters:

Children of smokers are 90 per cent more likely to become smokers themselves.

St Helens Star:

Smoking near children directly damages their health, and it’s been found that children of smokers are 90 per cent more likely to become smokers themselves.

——–

Childrens lungs are smaller and less developed…

Bury Times:

“Children’s lungs are smaller and less developed, so they are more vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke.

Mancunian Matters:

“Children’s lungs are smaller and less developed so they are more vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke.

Lancashire Telegraph:

“Children’s lungs are smaller and less developed, so they are more vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke.

Runcorn and Widness World:

Children’s lungs are smaller and less developed so they are more vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke.

St Helens Star:

“Children’s lungs are smaller and less developed, so they are more vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke.

———-

Opening a window is not enough; the Take Seven Steps Out message:

Bury Times:

It is vital that we do everything we can to improve awareness and reduce the risks. Opening a window won’t protect your health, but smoke-free cars and homes will.”

Mancunian Matters:

“It is vital that we do everything we can to improve awareness and reduce the risks. Opening a window won’t protect your health, but smoke free cars and homes will.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

It is vital we do everything we can to improve awareness, and reduce the risks.
“Opening a window won’t protect your health, but smoke free cars and homes will.”

Runcorn and Widness World:

Giving up smoking or making sure you have a completely smokefree home and car is the only way to protect your family.

St Helens Star:

Giving up smoking or making sure you have a completely smokefree home and car is the only way to protect your family.

————

4000 chemicals (The dose equals the poison)

Mancunian Matters:

Of the 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, 60 cause cancer but Dr Kate Arden, the council’s director of public health, insists the campaign is not just about quitting.

St Helens Star:

“There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, 60 of which cause cancer.

————–

Useful idiots:

All the reporters who ‘wrote these articles.
Dr Peter Elton for Bury
Keith Cunliffe for Wigan
Mohammed Khan for Blackburn
Barrie Grunewald for St Helens.

And finally:

Not one of these articles questioned the information in the press releases. It was all reported verbatim with no questions asked.

Modern journalism for ya folks.

16 comments for “Copy and paste journalism

  1. ivan
    June 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    My usual answer to things like that is ‘prove it!’

    Like AGW – sorry climate change – it is all based on supposition not hard provable evidence.

    The fact that rather a lot of people smoked in the 40s, 50s and 60s without apparent harm, in fact my memory of the time is that there wasn’t all the asthma and allergies that we see today – I wonder why, maybe that is what all these drips under pressure – sorry experts – should be studying.

    • June 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      There is no proof that I can find but they don’t seem to need it. Gullible people (Like Nick) lap this stuff up

      • Nick
        June 16, 2013 at 8:11 am

        No dear, I don’t. I read it and apply a basic scientific principle to it. Please stop insulting people who disagree with you.

  2. Mark
    June 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Makes me want to take up smoking so I can smoke in my own dam house
    if I want to.

    • June 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      :mrgreen:

  3. Nick
    June 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Ask yourself if you would eat tarmac. Then if you’d wash in acids, drink the stuff. Now would you suck at a car exhaust – the chemicals are the same.

    Cigarette smoke is toxic, cancerous and poisonous. It is especially bad for children, whose lungs are weaker.

    You have a right to smoke in your own home. Parents who are not bothered by that should be welcome to bring their children to you, where you smoke. You cannot, however, pretend that it is not a dangerous, revolting habit.

    That is not a refutation of your freedom to smoke. It is simply the presenting the facts that smoking is extremely bad for your heath, and that of those around you.

    • June 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      “”Ask yourself if you would eat tarmac. Then if you’d wash in acids, drink the stuff. Now would you suck at a car exhaust – the chemicals are the same. “”

      Very silly comparison. Any chemicals in fag smoke that are the same as in that list of items are in such small quantities as to be meaningless.

      They tell us there are 4000 chemicals in fag smoke but again, each one is in such a tiny dose, which of course, makes the poison.

      And I certainly can say it’s not a dangerous, revolting habit. It’s only your opinion that it’s revolting. That opinion is not shard by everyone.

      And as for dangerous, yes there are health risks but they have been so over blown in recent times as to become parody.

      • Nick
        June 16, 2013 at 8:16 am

        Well, no, they’re not. If you smoke 20 ciagrettes a day you’re ingesting 5g of tarmac, sulphuric acid and carbon monoxide that quite literally dissolve your insides.

        And smoking is a revolting dangerous habit. However, it is your life and the taxes you pay to kill yourself cover the medical treatment you need to continue it. Equally, it doesn’t affect me so as long as smokers don’t, it is entirely their decision to carry on doing so.

        You disagree with me – insults do not make you right or silence debate and Ivan, DYOR. Start with carbon monoxide effects on lungs. There’s enough information out there that’s utterly unbiased.

        And you smoke a cigarette you don’t? Dear god. Smokers cough? The first one you draw in, your lungs choke! That’s the reflex to expell poison you stupid man!

        • June 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm

          So how come no smoker has ever dissolved from the inside out then?
          Your claims are a little outlandish.

          And a cough is a little different from the symptoms you would get from eating acid or breathing exhaust fumes – ie, death.

          You’re right I do disagree with you, strongly, and I’m sorry I insulted you. I know smoking can cause harm in some people, but scary claims about chemicals that are in such small quantities as to be harmless tend to grip my goat.

          • Twenty_Rothmans
            June 16, 2013 at 1:13 pm

            CO negatively affects the lungs in low concentrations?

            I smell an angler on the premises. Either that, or someone with a pisspoor education because his parents, or he, did not think him worth it.

        • SteveW
          June 17, 2013 at 9:42 am

          Nick, I’m left drawing one of two conclusions; either you are unaware that what is commonly referred to as ‘tar’ in cigarette smoke bears no resemblance to tarmac, in which case your ignorance tends to invalidate your opinion on the subject; or you are fully aware of this and your mendacity tends to invalidate your opinion on the subject.

          Care to enlighten us as to which it is?

    • ivan
      June 15, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Prove your statement with reputable scientific validated data.

      • June 16, 2013 at 1:15 am

        Why? Is it not obvious? You eat tarmac, breathe exhaust fumes or throw acid on yourself, you get immediate and life changing health effects.

        You smoke a cigarette, you don’t.

        • June 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm

          And besides, this post was about shoddy journalism, not the health effects of smoking. 😆

  4. admin
    June 16, 2013 at 12:19 am

    I don’t see why either Bucko nor Nick should be under attack as both are arguing different things.

  5. June 16, 2013 at 9:35 am

    This is serious stuff. Definitely a two-pipe ishoo. 😉

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