Monday, February 19, 2007

Jonestown In A Pack of 20

Good for the BC government. Provincial government lawyers won't be mincing any words when they attack Big Tobacco's right to advertise in the Supreme Court of Canada today.

They intend to depict tobacco ads as akin to the preacher Jim Jones who persuaded his 900-followers to drink poisoned Kool Aid in 1978. From the Globe:

"The federal government, the Canadian Cancer Society and six provinces will lead the charge against a concerted attack by Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., Rothmans Benson and Hedges Inc., and JTI-Macdonald Corp.

"A federal brief argues that tobacco kills one in every two smokers -- about 45,000 people each year -- and that the tobacco industry has knowingly concealed this devastating reality, all the while falsely claiming that filtered cigarettes and special "light" brands provide a measure of safety."

BC argues that, "The use of trigger words to induce the Jonestown massacre mirrors the efforts of tobacco companies to disguise their message -- "smoke, smoke, smoke and smoke" -- as an absurd, intellectual exercise in brand discrimination.

"It is as if two Jonestown preachers were competing to convince their flock to drink deadly cyanide of one flavour or another, each extolling the virtues of superior colour and taste.

"A person saying: 'Drink the purple cyanide' is still saying: 'Drink the cyanide.' A person saying: 'Smoke du Maurier' is still saying: 'Smoke.'"

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