Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Smoke Assassin: Sometimes, the Snark Writes Itself!

There are days when I really have to reach to add to this blog. I realize that I haven't posted in a while, so I write up some snark concerning an ad that I find only mildly annoying. Then there are days when I'm so irritated and/or angry at a commercial that I can't WAIT to blog about it.

And now, I have to add a new kind of day: A day where I hear a commercial so blandly unenthusiastic about it's product that the snark seems to be built in, and all I have to do is repeat what I heard.

The product is something called Smoke Assassin, and right off the bat I know it's going to be a winner: "the price of cigarettes just keeps going up, the taxes just keep going up, and it's just not fair." Um, pardon me? What exactly is not "fair" about cigarette prices rising? What exactly is not "fair" about cigarette TAXES rising? I've heard enough of Cigar Dave to know that there really is an army of self-pitying idiots who think that they have a God-given right to blow smoke in my face, but let's get real.

It gets better: "Smoke Assassin- it looks and feels like the real thing, but emits water vapor instead of smoke. We're not saying you'll stop smoking, but thousands quit every day." I just LOVE this line! Imagine a car dealer telling you "I'm not saying this car will operate properly, but millions of people drive every day." Or Rosetta Stone informing it's customers "We aren't saying that you'll learn a new language, but thousands are learning a new language every day." Brilliant!

It gets even BETTER: "We're not saying it's a healthy smoke, but you do the math: no nicotine, no tar....." Again, I just love it: this company comes right out and says "our product might not be good for you either, but it's not bad in the same way cigarettes are."

I don't know what Smoke Assassin actually is, and I'm pretty positive it doesn't work (heck, the commercials basically TELL me it doesn't work) but I have to applaud the radio commercials for their honesty and built-in snark. Maybe in the future the makers of Smoke Assassin will come out with a ten-second version- "Try Smoke Assassin- it might not help you quit, it's not healthy, but--- um, well--- Try Smoke Assassin." I'd love it.


  1. From the episode "Han," season 5, The West Wing:

    Toby Ziegler: In a triumph of the middling, a nod to mediocrity, and with gorge rising, it gives me great nausea to announce Robert Russell - Bingo Bob, himself - as your new Vice President.

    Will Bailey: This lapdog of the mining interests is as dull as he is unremarkable...

    Z: lackluster as he is soporific. This reversion to the mean...

    B: ...this rebuke to the exemplary...

    Z: hope to the millions unfavored by the exceptional... Bob Russell: not the worst, not the best, just what we're stuck with.

  2. Not to mention the health, longevity, and quality of life of the non-smokers around you.

  3. You know, I listened to this ad on the internet while I was tuned in to nostalgia radio. I thought it was a 1930s/40s contemporary ad. Now I know different. What I would say is I'm from the UK. This ad would never get an airing here. It's farcical. The but is that - as far as I can tell - it tunes into the language of everyday America and its advertising - that's what makes it clever, up to a point. The danger is with it - in America - is that it is credible enough to start a debate. There is no debate. End.

  4. Yeah. Tax the hell out of those bastards. It's not us. They'll never do that to our soda pop and cupcakes.

  5. Tell you what: when the guy sitting across from me makes me sick with his soda-drinking and cake-eating, I'll favor higher taxes on that stuff, too. Your argument fails on all levels.

  6. That easy, huh? All levels? The reason that I do not believe in the theory of evolution is that people that "get sick", or don't like the smell of cigarettes, would all have died off by the 20th century. Wood fires, or heating and cooking with almost anything that would burn, was the norm up until a few decades ago. I don't remember nearly as many people having problems with smoking until certain people decided to start whining, and yes, lying to get their way. To quote Cheryl, "BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!". I don't like that, so you should not have a right to do that. Taxes???? Yeah, anything that YOU don't like, it is OK to more than double the expense of consuming that item, because You don't like that. Non smokers have already infringed upon peoples right to run their business as they see fit, haven't they? If non smokers don't like going to an establishment where smoking is allowed, why couldn't they just go to a non smoking establishment? Couldn't find any? Wonder why. I am sure that you get physically ill when you sit across from a smoker. Lame. Guess Darwin's WAS just a theory. You are still here.

  7. Are you there? Are you dead yet? If so, maybe Darwin WAS right after all.

  8. I am thinking that you might be a sissy. I am now quite sure that you are a phony. I see that you must be the winner. Lest you take your blog and go home.

  9. I published your comment because I don't want to have to convince people what a total idiot you are. Now I have the evidence to point to. .

    Now I just have to convince them that I didn't just create a fake screen name and post your comment myself.

    Seriously- you are arguing that people don't get sick from second-hand smoke? Tell that to my maternal grandmother- oh wait, you can't- she died of cancer when she was 48. I'm sure it was a coincidence that her husband smoked like a chimney. Maybe you could pass your wisdom on to the kids who live with smokers and suffer from smoking-related illnesses far and away more often than kids of parents who don't smoke.

    Smoke all you want- but keep it to yourself, and don't say it's not "my business" when I'm forced to "enjoy" your drug habit. And don't bitch about the cost- seriously, if cigarettes went to $30 a pack tomorrow, idiots like you would manage to find the money to pay for them. Above all, stop blaming non-smokers for "depriving" you of places to indulge in your drug of choice. I think I speak for most of us when I say that I couldn't care less if you want to smoke a pack at a time. But if you are going to add billions to the cost of health care with your juvenile, disgusting, dirty behavior, you're going to have to chip in for the increased cost. Sorry.

  10. I just have to take on rbeckwith:

    "The reason that I do not believe in the theory of evolution..."

    Belief is for articles of faith, like religion. Evolution is science. So, it's not a question of whether you "believe" that evolution exists, but why you don't acknowledge the fact that it does.

    " that people that "get sick", or don't like the smell of cigarettes, would all have died off by the 20th century."

    How lacking in the ability to reason and deduce are you to not understand that lots of people can procreate while sick, or can procreate and get sick afterwards?

    "I don't remember nearly as many people having problems with smoking until certain people decided to start whining, and yes, lying to get their way."

    It was only in the 1960s that studies were completed which enabled the US Surgeon general to issue a warning on the dangers of smoking. Before that, tobacco product makers didn't know (at first), and then knew but didn't tell anyone else. Hell, cigarettes used to be advertised as having medicinal benefits. In addition, it's only more recent studies that have shown the negative effects of second hand smoke and the dangers of cancer and other illness from smokeless tobacco products. Should we ignore the science of these recent studies because you don't "believe" in it?

    "I don't like that, so you should not have a right to do that. Taxes???? Yeah, anything that YOU don't like, it is OK to more than double the expense of consuming that item, because You don't like that."

    In favor of taxes on an item that provides NO benefit but lots of harm? Damned right I am. In favor of democracy, as in following the tax laws passed by our elected representatives. Yes I am. Don't like the law, or don't like the priorities of your legislature? Try to effect change at the ballot box by contributing to or working for candidates, voting, or becoming a candidate yourself.

    "If non smokers don't like going to an establishment where smoking is allowed, why couldn't they just go to a non smoking establishment?"

    Because in America we value equality, and that includes equal access to public accommodations. Your right to smoke stops at my right to good health, just as my right to swing my arm stops at the end of your nose.

    "Guess Darwin's WAS just a theory. You are still here."

    One of the biggest problems with effective communication is the misuse of language. The word "theory" in science has a meaning different than the common terminology. In science, someone makes observations -- he sees that something happens. From there, the scientist develops a hypothesis that explains why the thing might be happening, and under what conditions. The scientist then collects evidence, makes additional observations, and attempts to recreate the conditions to see whether the thing he has observed will happen again. If it does, the hypothesis is proved and becomes a theory. So, in science, a theory is a provable explanation of why something occurs, rather than the common usage of an idea that hasn't been proved, and may not be true. Darwin was one hundred percent right, regardless of your "belief."

    I can't recall the last time I saw so many ignorant, uninformed sentences in one blog comment. Here's hoping to improvement in your future efforts, because this one completely misses the mark.

  11. The evolution statement was, I thought, obviously tongue in cheek.
    I am sure that you will not believe me when I tell you, that I am not a smoker. You are obviously much more intelligent than I, so you have me all figured out.
    I am against taxation, especially punitive taxation. The power to tax, is the power to enslave. I am happy to inform you, since you don't seem to realize it, that this country is a republic. We do elect our representatives democratically. Unfortunately these elected representatives pander to special interests, and the most ignorant, Kool-Aid drinking part of the electorate. For now.
    All that being said, I accomplished what I set out to do with my comment. Anger the "highly evolved" by attempting to expose the hypocrisy, and short sightedness of their stance. Even if it only serves to reaffirm my opinions. To me, the most obvious problem with liberals, is their lack of a sense of history. This statement will, no doubt infuriate you, because you truly believe that you are more intelligent than most people, especially conservative leaning individuals. But I just happen to get a kick out of pissing off good little Nazis. I think it worked. I know. I'm ignorant.

  12. I feel kind of bad about continuing to post rbeckwith's rants; the charitable thing to do would be to ignore and reject them. But he makes an interesting case study, especially his constant, pathetic "I know I'm stupid" disclaimers and his conviction that he knows all about my political philosophy based on my post concerning an anti-smoking device. But I think his entertainment value (a guilty pleasure, I admit) has run it's course here.

  13. First of all, I started smoking cigarettes at 17 years old... Not the smartest move I ever made but at 17 I have to admit, I made some pretty dumb decisions... As I'm sure many others have. My favorite advice from non-smokers on quitting is "Just quit... they're bad for you." Believe me... They're expensive, they stink, and we all know they're bad for you (regardless of those who like to play dumb and insist otherwise). If it were that easy to "just quit", then it would be as good as done, no questions asked. Be careful not to brand us all as a bunch of stupid, inconsiderate, smoke-belching Neanderthals who like nothing better than to spew carcinogen clouds into the faces of infants... This is simply not always true. I have no problem smoking outside ANYWHERE, and that includes my own home. I am not as stubborn and narrow-minded as to pretend to believe that smoking doesn't cause long-term health effects for the smoker and those who spend a lot of time around one like rbeckwith. You'd really have to be "stupid" to say that it doesn't. My issue with smoking bans is more to do with the rights of the business owners... If I owned a business and the real estate it sat on, I really should have control over which LEGAL activities are allowed to go on in it. But that’s just my opinion… Either way, as a smoker trying to quit, I can certainly see the attraction of an electronic smoking device to help kick the habit. I am not a heavy smoker (about 5 per day or less), but it seems to be a very situational addiction for me so you can see why this kind of product might be appealing. I have more trouble kicking "the habit" than "the addiction", if that makes any sense. It may not to those who have never smoked, but the smoker and ex-smokers out there will probably have a better idea of what I mean. I have to admit, though, the disclaimers on this particular commercial are pretty ridiculous. I figured that the "we're not saying it's a healthy smoke..." line was due to some kind of FDA regulation on the subject. The "it's not fair..." line was just flat-out the dumbest thing I've ever heard in a commercial... No argument there. Not to sound like my mother (and probably many other old-school moms out there), but life's not fair... deal with it. I've actually found another e-cigarette product that looks more appealing. I haven't tried it yet, but it seems to be less fraught with sleaze-ball gimmicks than "Smoke Assassin". Just thought I'd contribute an alternative opinion here and maybe some insight on the attraction to this kind of product.

  14. I was married to a smoker for five years; believe me, I know what addiction is all about. My wife would automatically light up when she got into a car, right after dinner, when she got on the phone, etc.- without even thinking about it or "wanting" a cigarette. I hate the way companies like the one that makes "Smoke Assassin" aren't satisfied with trying to provide a product that may save lives, but also tries to make "victims" out of smokers- "people are smoking more and being taxed more, it's just not fair." I'd like to see FDA-approved anti-smoking medications provided to smokers free of charge- not only would it save countless lives, but it would drive crooks like these people out of business.

  15. of course thousands quit everyday, they kinda have to, death does that. this comercial is on like 5 times a day, and at least i get a laugh. i used to smoke, but quit on my own. it is like people suing mcdonald's for being fat. no one is making people buy and smoke ciggaretts.

  16. You're absolutely right, John. I have never stooped to blaming anyone for my own actions, especially smoking. I don't blame cigarette companies, commercials, rock stars, actors... no one else but me. I picked them up, I bought them, and I smoked them... Sadly, I did it because I thought it was "cool" and "grownup". So incredibly stupid... You know what they say about hind-sight, though... Quitting cold turkey is probably the best way, but let's face it... it doesn't work for everyone. These Smoke Assassin jerks are even worse once you call them. I actually heard about similar products on the Internet and checked into them as well as this one. Some of them seem okay, but this one is the worst. Not only is the product horribly expensive (their argument for this is that it's cheaper than buying cigarettes), but they automatically want to put you on a monthly purchase plan and then pitch a bunch of other B.S. membership services to you. I've previously tried the gum and the patch with no success... As a matter of fact, when my "situations" came up where I wanted to smoke, it didn't feel like I had used anything at all. It looks like I'm trying one last time to quit cold turkey, though... This is my 3rd day without a cigarette and so far, so good. If this doesn't work though, I'll probably be looking into one of these electronic cigarette options, but definitely NOT Smoke Assassin.

  17. Jamele....maybe your grandmother died of cancer from the smoke of woodburning? Sorry, but rbeckwith raises some points of impregnable logic.

  18. Nut- I suggest you read more recent posts. I'm all in favor of taxing the crap out of junk food, because I agree 100 percent that people with poor diets are clogging the hospitals every bit as much as you degenerate smokers.

    Enjoy spitting your lungs into the sink every morning.

  19. I will. As much as I enjoy using the earth for my personal ashtray.

  20. Listen to the commercial! Hilarious!

  21. What gets me is how you can suck this concentrated water vapor into your lungs and some how not end up with pneumonia.

  22. Rofl, I came late to this party, but all i can say is, the advertisement itself was funny, but these comments were even better.

    It's amazing to see how far up their own behinds people can become.

    Rbeckwith succeeded in giving me analagous entertainment by trolling like none other and then coming outright and saying, by the way, I succeeded in trolling.

    Can't beat that entertainment.

    *sits back and munches popcorn*