In Defense of Smoking


The issues that surround smoking in the woods and forest fires are so complex, and so emotional, it's hard to debate them objectively.

Over the years, you've heard so often that smoking in the woods causes forest fires -- and so little challenging these reports -- that you may assume that the case is closed.

Studies that conclude that smoking in the woods causes forest fires have regularly ignored major arguments and findings to the contrary.

For example, many people who smoke in the woods never cause forest fires, and some forest fires occur even if no one smokes. So how can smoking possibly be a cause of forest fires?

Besides, if no one was there to see the fire start, and the fire burned the cigarette that supposedly started it, how can anyone be sure that a cigarette was the cause?

The evidence about smoking being a cause of forest fires is merely statistical. Simply because a large number of forest fires start where smokers throw their matches or cigarettes doesn't prove that the smoking actually caused the fire.

Many of the independent scientists who work for us or who hope to receive our large grants believe that the issue is far from clear, and that more open debate and research are needed. That's why we spend millions of dollars each year on research to see if smoking in the woods can possibly cause forest fires.

During the coming months we will discuss a number of other key questions related to smoking in the woods and fires.

Some of the things we will say may surprise you, just as some of the things we said in this ad probably surprised you. We're even surprised that we had the gall to say them.

But we won't shy away from saying them, no matter how illogical they are, because, quite frankly, that's our whole point.

We believe that if we say these things often enough, some people will believe them. And that we can make any issue into a controversy by spending enough money for large ads like this.

That's why we maintain that there are lots of unanswered questions and no simple answers about any issue that affects our profits.

In future ads we'll try to convince you that smoking in bed doesn't cause fires, and that smokers are more likely to go to heaven.

Please keep an open mind about our ad campaign. The best way to do that is to be sure that your mind is empty.

J. R. Renegade Tobacco Company

This ad parody was prepared as a public service by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), 2013 H Street, Washington CD 20006.