Cancer, Poverty, Drugs, Smoking … Is there any war we can win?

Ensuring the long-term success of something is easy: Just make it the target of a U.S. government lead unofficial “war.” So far we’ve failed to curtail cancer, punish poverty, decrease drug consumption and now word comes that anti-smoking ads … <drum roll > … increase smoking. According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, “youth smoking prevention ads created by the tobacco industry aimed at parents, actually increase the likelihood that teens will smoke in the future.”

Thank goodness we’re winning in Iraq.

UPDATE: There’s hope for hopelessly awkward or unattractive people in their 20s. “The government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.

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Smoking new airline to feature black lungs along with black boxes

The existence of Smoker’s International Airlines begs the question: Does every niche have to be filled?

Alexander Schoppmann, a 55-year-old former stockbroker, has come up with a business plan for Smoker’s International Airways, or Smintair, which he says will offer flights between his home town of Duesseldorf in western Germany and Tokyo. It’s all about service, he said — and that includes helping people avoid long hours confined without a cigarette break during a long-haul flight.

Schoppmann says he will begin service in March but, given that he’s a 30 A DAY smoker, odds are against him being there even if for some reason his airline does get off the ground. A fact that even Schoppmann seems willing to acknowledge:

Asked how certain he is that Smintair will take off as planned in March, Schoppmann said: “How certain is it that I will be alive by then?”

If you had any doubts about his business acumen, a press release by Herr Schoppman mentions the Nazis. It seems to me that the release implies that smokers are suffering a persecution similiar to … well you know who. But, given my last name, I may be overly sensitive on the subject so I’ll let you decide:

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Guests, before I would like to share my next to 50 years of experience as an airline passenger with you, I’d like to take the opportunity to clear one of the biggest lies floating around everywhere in the World: “Second Hand Smoke (SHS, a.k.a. ETS, Environmental Tobacco Smoke) damages your health”. Please refer to our DOWNLOADS page and be surprised by the overwhelming, neutral evidence. By the way, did you know that the NAZIs also sported a huge Anti-Smoking campaign? Yes, they did and the one we experience now, frightningly, carries exactly the same insignia. Now on to a more pleasant subject than fat lies…

Hmmm, flying from Dusseldorf to Tokyo means flying over Russia who no doubt will embrace the return of the Luftwaffe to their sunny skies.