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Smoking Kills Puppies

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Think anti-smoking scare tactics can't get any more ridiculous? Check out this commercial released by anti-smoking activist organization Ydouthink and the Barber Martin advertising agency in Virginia.

Setting aside the issue of whether this is a responsible way to educate people about the ill effects of smoking (SMOKERS ARE PUPPY-KILLERS!), let's take the message at face value. Technically speaking, yes, pets can choke to death from attempting to swallow cigarette butts. Then again, pets can choke on just about any appropriately-sized household item, including cotton balls, loose change, and dryer sheets. Indeed, chocolate is among the more poisonous substances for dogs, and owners should make sure not to leave chocolate within reach of their pets. But if a commercial depicted a puppy dying from chocolate ingestion, and the intended conclusion was that people shouldn't eat chocolate, such a commercial would be rightly mocked. Ydouthink's commercial doesn't prove you shouldn't smoke; it proves that anti-smoking zealots will do anything to scare people, particularly young people, away from cigarettes.

Ydouthink has an arguably worse commercial that features a cat choking on a cigarette butt. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised to see commercials asserting that cigarette butts will kill Santa Claus, summer vacation, and the Disney Channel in the near future.

Read Jacob Sullum on hypocrisy and the anti-smoking movement here.

UPDATE: Reason Senior Editor Radley Balko blogs about something even more dangerous to man's best friend here.

NEXT: Cop vs. Dog

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  1. If your dog chokes on cigarettes, you haven’t trained him to smoke properly.

  2. Pussy Isn’t safe?

    1. Not the skanky kind you indulge in.

  3. Cops kill more dogs than smokers. Can we have a public service announcement about that?

    1. Srsly, dood! LOL!

  4. Who is Robby Soave?

    1. New summer intern. But Roddy Suave would make a good porn name, if the whole journo thing doesn’t work out.

  5. I bet a cop left those cigarette butts.

  6. Opium smoke causes cuteness in cats.

    1. Opium smoking causes cuteness in damn near everything.

      …um, or so I’ve heard.

  7. I have an idea for a public service ad. I would like to make an anti drug ad. In it I would show a white bread family of four; father, mother and say a ten and 8 year old son and daughter and a couple very cute labrador retrievers.

    So the commercial would go like this. Mom and dad have some friends over and after the kids go to bed decide to smoke some weed. And their neighbor smells it and reports them to the cops. Then the cops show up and kick the door down and proceed to terrorize mom, dad, guests and the kids. And of course the cops shoot the dogs. Make the whole thing as graphic and disturbign as possible. And then it could end with “don’t risk this happenig to you, don’t do drugs”.

    Now it would make cops look like complete and total fascist assholes. But when the cops complained about it, you could say “hey I am just warning of the consiquences of drug use”. What could the cops say? We don’t kick down people’s doors? We don’t shoot dogs? We don’t terrorize minor children caught in the middle? It would be great.

    1. This is the kind of shit that reason.tv should be making.

    2. That’s actually a great idea.

      Because if you made a straight-up political ad damning the police for the same tactics, all TV stations would refuse to air it.

      You have to hide your anti-police-terrorism message inside an anti-drug message to have any chance to get it on the air.

      1. Technically it’s totalitarianism when a state agent does it. Terrorism is violence by non-state agents to achieve political goals.

    3. Actually, now that I think about it, during the Solidarity era in Poland there was a group of anti-Communist activists who figured out that any direct agitation against the regime would get them arrested, so they conducted a series of demonstrations where they dressed up in Young Socialist Club gear [or whatever the group was called in Poland] and held fake pro-government rallies praising the police for committing atrocities, praising the government for stomping out the corrupt counter-revolutionary bouregoisie, etc.

      So we could do PSA’s telling people to support the police in the difficult work they do, shooting daschunds and such. And enthusiastically praising police who tase handicapped guys and shoot dangerous old women. You know, that sort of thing.

      1. As Americans we have a habit of thinking very literally and saying what we mean directly. It comes from growing up in a society that has more or less free speech. Since we are free to criticize the government, our idea of criticism is to just say it. People in more repressive places learn the art of double entandre.

        Sadly, our society has gotten so repressive about certain subjects that Americans need to learn the art again. And anti-drug war folks should be one of the first to learn it.

    4. +163 for deviousness.

      But I’m sure the powers that be will find a way to shut it down by some sort of logical contortion. Especially if it was produced by a pro-legalization organization like reason.tv.

      1. That is why you create a front organization to do it. You could make a whole series of them. In another a young black kid living with his grandmother needs money and sells a couple of rocks of crack. Then police bust in and shot 8 year old little brother who is holding a toy that they mistake for a gun. End it with the cop standing over the dead child and the older kid and grandma in handcuffes crying.

    5. i would donate to the making of this commercial.

    6. +164. So there, Tulpa!

      Seriously – that’s a great idea, John. The best one I ever thought of was a hot girl with a piece of parchment in front of a stove with a red-hot burner.

      “This is your Bill of Rights.”

      She turns, puts the parchment on the burner, and it starts burning.

      “This is your Bill of Rights on the War on Drugs. Any questions?”

  8. If cigarettes really kill the Disney Channel, I’ll take up smoking right now.

    1. Sign me up as well.

  9. What about me?

  10. It may take two cigarette butts to kill a puppy, but it only takes one bullet from your neighborhood cop.

  11. Am I the only one who can’t get their crappy website to work? It just keeps scrolling through the videos, without showing any actual content.

  12. I only feed my dogs the finest Cuban cigars. Embargoes are for pussies who don’t have their own submarine robot.

  13. Then again, pets can choke on just about any appropriately-sized household item, including cotton balls, loose change, and dryer sheets.

    My vet has a display cabinet of the stuff he has removed from dogs. The treble-hooked saltwater fishing lures are probably the most appalling, but seriously, dogs will swallow anything.

    1. I know!

    2. but seriously, dogs will swallow anything.

      So will government activists.

  14. Ydouthink has an arguably worse commercial that features a cat choking on a cigarette butt.

    Any commercial that ends with a dead cat can’t be all that bad.

  15. This is the Anti-Smoking version of the LBJ Daisy Ad.

  16. Can we break out the white coats for these people now?

  17. Tobacco is a great organic pesticide. Many tribes in the Americas used to fumigate their crops with it. When my house plants got insects, I spread the contents of a cigar on the soil in the pot. It works like a charm. Perhaps we can pitch it as an all natural alternative to DDT.

    1. Oh, and when my cat had the flees, I tried a twist on an old fashion remedy. I boiled tobacco in water to extract the nicotine. Then I rubbed the extract on her fur. She was very happy all day after that.

      1. Where was she going?

  18. Ydouthink has an arguably worse commercial that features a cat choking on a cigarette butt.

    I know cat haters who would consider that a valuable how-to video.

  19. I am pretty sure ydoyouthink means that puppies die from the nicotine contained in cigarette butts, not by physically choking on it (hence the phrase “2 cigarette butts” instead of simply saying cigarette butts)

    1. yeah, that’s what I thought too. If it was death from choking, it would only take one.

      Have any dogs actually died from this? There are lots of poisonous plants out there, usually dogs don’t eat enough of them to die.

      1. Dosage and the animals weight are the biggest factors in toxicity. Poodles are small dogs. The females are the smaller sex. These bitches weigh 45 to 60 pounds. Take the minimum weight for a conservative estimate. That means a dog eating two cigarette butts is equivalent to me eating 8 cigarette butts. That would give me about the nicotine in one cigarette. Eating it would be unpleasant, but would not introduce a lethal dosage of nicotine, unless there is something unique about how dogs react to tobacco.

  20. Any puppies need killing?

  21. I read about a guy who had a dog who chewed his cigarette butts. The dog would lick the ashtrays, and just chew on the cigarette butts.

    The guy finally quit smoking, and did it with nicotine gum. He noticed his dog was seriously stressed out, so he gave it a piece of gum. He said the dog was chewing on it for hours…

  22. sorry jacob but what kills a dog from eating a ciggarette bud is the nicotine which in the two cigarette butts, in fact a small child could also be poisoned that way and an adult would become very sick.
    a better question would be why your dog is eating cigarettes and how often has this ever happend ( if it were frequent there would definitely be stastics backing it up since there really no other way for a dog to die of nicotine poison

  23. I had a college friend whose dog died from choking on a used condom. Damn those sex-crazed dog owners. Ban condoms… It’s the only answer.

  24. Just to clarify… is the cause of death choking, or nicotine poisoning? I find it hard to believe that even a puppy could choke on two cigarette butts, given that they are not much bigger than puppy kibble.

    However, nicotine in high enough concentrations, and low enough body weight, is poisonous. They might be claiming that the nicotine residue in the butt would poison the puppy.

    Commercial is still stupid… I’m just curious about what their actual claim is.

  25. Thanks for the information! Just another good reason to quit smoking! I want to buy my husband an olde bulldog for Valentines day. He just loves them! Hopefully it can motivate him a little more to quit.

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