I recently noticed a CTA bus advertisement with a small black girl dressed in a tutu doing a curtsy below the following caption: “Second-hand smoke will kill 35,000 Illinois residents this year.” The ad was targeted toward minorities and youth.
This message is propaganda not based on empirical data. The 35,000 figure is pure junk science, based on projections, guesses, and computer models that are widely disputed.
When companies engage in fraudulent advertising, their ads are pulled and fines are assessed. So why should the City Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health, and American Cancer Society get a free ride on the CTA?
Isn’t it about time we slowed down this bus, which is driving away with our individual liberties and constitutional rights? Or are we ready to sit idly by on the curbs of apathy as a group of disingenuous saviors rides in to micro-manage the lives of our fellow citizens, whose only fault is use of a legal product?
Ralph Conner ([email protected]), who is not a smoker, is public affairs director for The Heartland Institute and former mayor of Maywood, Illiois.