Tag Archives: HBO

John Oliver Creates Jeff – The Diseased Lung – for Tobacco Companies

Regular readers know that I am against smoking and you can read my Page  – How Bad is Smoking? for full details. So, I was understandably entertained by John Oliver’s latest rant against smoking in general and cigarette companies in particular.

John Oliver with Jeff the disease lung who looks like a cowboy with his hat and boots.

John Oliver with Jeff The Diseased Lung who looks like a cowboy with his hat and boots, an homage to the Marlboro Man.

So, who is Jeff? He is Oliver’s compromise marketing creation for cigarette companies who are fighting ‘plain packaging’ laws put out to protect citizens from the harm of smoking cigarettes. Jeff is a diseased lung who wears a cowboy hat and boots to show simultaneously the fun and result of smoking cigarettes. Read on to learn of Jeff’s gestation.

Last night, John Oliver, the investigative journalist masquerading as a comedian on HBO, demonstrated that the companies who create and market those coffin nails are possibly more insidious than the cigarettes themselves.

Since the cigarette bans smoking rates have declined dramatically here in the U.S. Adult smoking rates have fallen from 43 percent in 1965 to 18 percent today as a result of the attention to smoking dangers, the banning of ads from TV and smoking warnings on cigarette packages.

However, despite this decline, cigarette manufacturers are making more money now than ever. The reason is that people outside the U.S. are smoking more.

Indonesia is the home of the ‘smoking baby.’ That two-year old whose story went viral when video of him smoking a cigarette was broadcast.

It turns out that Phillip Morris International has a kiosk right next to a grade school where kids can buy individual cigarettes during quick breaks from classes in Indonesia.

in 2011 Australia passed plain packaging laws that accentuated the SMOKING KILLS labels and relegated the brand name to smaller type on the bottom of the package.

The Marlboro Men haven't fared well as a result of their smoking.

The Marlboro Men haven’t fared well as a result of their smoking.

This plain packaging cut into cigarette sales and the companies sued to get the laws changed. They lost and Australia’s court ordered them to pay court costs and legal fees, describing the firms’ arguments as, “… delusive…”“…unreal and  synthetic …”“That conclusion is fatal to the case…”

Nonetheless, the cigarette firms have taken their legal arguments to Uruguay and Togo to get those countries to change their laws. Those are significantly smaller countries than Australia. Their entire gross domestic products are dwarfed by the annual revenues of the tobacco companies. As a result this heavy-handed activity by the companies is winning.

To enjoy the full flavor of John Oliver’s presentation, please invest the 18 or so minutes to watch his YouTube video. I promise it’s a lot funnier than this blog post.


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Filed under cigarette manufacturers, Smoking dangers

John Oliver Explain$ Drug Marketing to Doctor$

John Oliver is cleverly disguising good journalism as comedy every week on HBO. I hope you can spare 17 minutes to watch this video. I promise you will be amazed.

Last year we Americans spent an average of $1000 per person on prescription rugs, or $329.2 billion. That’s a lot of money. Last year drug companies spent $4 billion on marketing. The British Broadcasting Company said that nine out of 10 drug companies spent more money on marketing than they did on research.

If you take nothing else from this video, be sure to check out the link: https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov/ It allows you to look up your doctor and see if/how much drug companies paid him/her last year. Fascinating stuff. Just type in your doctor’s name and the website does the rest.


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Filed under doctors, drug company payments to doctors

John Oliver’s Amazing Rant Against Sugar

I am familiar with John Oliver from The Daily Show. In April he started his own talk show on HBO called Last Week Tonight. Besides being a very funny guy in his own right, he is a fine journalist as well. He did a wonderful broadcast on the corruption in FIFA a couple of months ago when we were all suffering from World Cup fever.

Sunday he took off on that deadly white powder – sugar. I will give some highlights, but you should watch his performance on the You Tube video below. The sugar rant begins about one minute in.

He said that Americans will spend $2.2 billion on candy this Halloween. Citing the National Center for Health Statistics, he reported that Americans
consume 22 teaspoons a day, about triple our daily requirements. That amounts to 75 pounds of sugar a year for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

Here is the video. Enjoy, there is nothing in it that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

I have posted numerous times about the dangers of sugar and the damage of obesity. Here are some examples: Is Sugar Killing You? Sugar Substance ‘Kills’ Good HDL Cholesterol, New Research Finds, Sugar: : the Evolution of A Forbidden Fruit, High-fat and High-sugar Snacks Contribute to Fatty Liver and Abdominal Obesity, Where Do I Find Hidden Sugar in My Diet? Sugar Causes Aging, Why We Crave High-Fat, High-Sugar Foods, How Much Sugar Do I Eat Without Knowing?

Last, but not least, please read my – Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s and Twinkies – NOT.

If you want to read further on it, type sugar and obesity in the search box at the right.


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Filed under John Oliver, sugar, weight control