Jenny McCarthy was a hot topic in front of the U.S. senate on Wednesday, concerning her role in an e-cigarette campaign that critics argue rolls back anti-tobacco efforts by decades. The Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation questioned Blu eCigs CEO Jason Healy about his decision to use McCarthy in an ad that resurrects the midcentury image of smoking as a sexy, glamorous pastime. So, at this point,
Dr. Jennworth McCarthy, MD is famous for two things: being
pro-whooping cough anti-vaccine and telling kids that smoking is cool. TRULY A WARRIOR FOR CHILDREN'S HEALTH.
Longtime anti-smoking advocates on the Hill argued that e-cig marketing is a throwback to traditional cigarettes, using techniques to reach young people with rock concert sponsorships, sports magazine ads, fruit and candy flavors and sexualized TV commercials that push themes like rebellion, independence and freedom, which are the anthems of youth.
McCarthy's ads are part of a broad campaign designed by Blu under the mantra of "freedom." In one, she tells the camera she's glad she can have an e-cig anywhere, no need to step outside to take a smoke or fear scaring off a handsome stranger. She sits in a bar smiling into the camera drawing a long, slow drag from her e-cig and blowing a plume of vapor that looks like smoke.
Some quotes from the commercial:
"I love being single. But here's what I don't love: a kiss that tastes like an ashtray. BLUH."
"Blu satisfies me. I get to have a Blu without the guilt, because it's only vapor! Not tobacco smoke."
"Now that I've switched to Blu, I feel better about myself!"
"I can whip out my Blu and not worry about scaring that special someone away. NawwaI'msayinnnnn?? [SHRUGGY SHRUGGY WINK WINK]"
"Finally, with Blu, I took back my freedom. [FELLATES CIGARETTE]"
Nope, no gratuitous sexualization, minimization of health risks, or grandiose claims about deep human fulfillment in there, no sir! Truly a new breed of tobacco ad. (The ads featuring McCarthy have since disappeared from the Blu eCigs website, although the above commercial is still up on their YouTube channel.)
Here's Politico again, with the mic drop:
The co-host of ABC's "The View," McCarthy is the celebrity face of two campaigns — one that stops kids from getting vaccinated and another that health advocates argue tells them smoking electronic cigarettes is cool.
Together they threaten to unwind two of the most significant public health achievements of the past 50 years: the near-eradication of the most deadly childhood diseases and the drop-off in kids trying nicotine.
GOOD JOB, JENNY. Your quest to give every child lung-mumps is making great strides!
I don't know WTF Jenny McCarthy (and, more puzzlingly, her PR team) is thinking—I'm sure she doesn't actually want children to die in some sort of impossibly massive and multi-pronged Munchausen by proxy scheme—but she appears to be invested in the same anti-science mentality that sold 19 million copies of The Secret and helps Dr. Oz shill diet pills. And, as I wrote about Dr. Oz yesterday, that worldview is patently dangerous and needs to be called out in all its forms.
In the meantime, any ideas for Jenny McCarthy's next project? An album of kids' songs about how seatbelts are for nerds? An energy drink that dissolves bike helmets?