Alva Noë, “What’s in a Picture?”

July 13, 2011 § 25 Comments

At the NPR Blog 13.7 – click.


§ 25 Responses to Alva Noë, “What’s in a Picture?”

  • prj32 says:

    The topic exposed on the article comes to show the ability we have to manipulate different scenarios to convey a given message. I completely agree with the author’s opinion, I do not think that the FDA’s campaign against smoking will serve its purpose. Moreover, it is important to consider that more than a triggering factor for deadly diseases, smoking, is an addiction.

    I can hardly see smokers giving up on their habits just by looking at an unpleasant picture on their cigarette packages. I think that non-smokers have a stronger response towards the pictures than a regular smoker. People who smoke have repeatedly heard the consequences of smoking and terrifying testimonies of individuals who have been affected by this habit, if that doesn’t scare them I don’t see how a picture would. Lastly, Noe points out that those pictures might feed people’s urge to “…act on impulse, impulses of fear, if not impulses of desire,” instead of convincing them to stop smoking. It is human nature to do the opposite of what we are told, thus, I think that the FDA should stay away from the “Stop smoking” message and come up with a positive message that people would feel encouraged to follow.

  • It is hard to believe that people have to go to such lengths to try to get their message across. I mean in my opinion there is no way people will ever stop smoking, it just will not happen at least in my lifetime. But having to resort to this kind of advertising to get people to quit, it seems like a desperate measure. The FDA really needs to come up with a different way that is not trying to scare people straight. The USDA is doing it write on the other hand, they are showing people the correct way to do things, by telling people what the best things to eat are and by helping them make good choices. I agree with all of this piece but the one thing that really stood out to me was the line talking about the FDA’s strategy and it says ” it encourages people to act on impulse, impulses of fear, if not impulses of desire.” To me that means, and I believe this is true, that is someone wants to do something for their reasons they will do it but they won’t if someone tells them to. They way I look at it is a teenager doing the opposite of what his parents tell him to do because he did not come up with the idea.

  • Kathy Wu says:

    Both examples shown are used to influence the public, however USDA’s food plate tries to inform while the FDA’s warning labels try to manipulate. Those who are not sure how to eat healthy can look at the plate and get a general idea of what proportions they need for each of the food groups. Smokers would look at their cigarette packs and see the government trying to guilt trip them into quitting. Most people who smoke are aware of the dangers of smoking and continue to do it anyway. Therefore, their reasons for smoking override their concern for their health. If the FDA used a message that focused on those reasons perhaps their labels would be more effective. One of the reasons for smoking might be as a sign of rebellion, so being told not to do it from an authority figure would just provoke them even more. The FDA’s use of persuasive definition on the labels seems to be attacking or scaring rather than helping and negative messages are not received as well as positive ones.

  • Tinamarie Rintye says:

    The argument:
    Advocate campaigns would have more impact on a person health choiceif it was persented as informing a person and not to encourage am impulsive response.

    I agree to this augment that scare tactics don’t really work on people because they feel there above that reality. Noë makes an acceptation when arguing his point, that others do not grant, which is to say smoking like eating is a part of living well. When one lives well they partake in pleasure as well as there necessaries of life. So if one acceptance this point of view you would want to inform a person of the dangers their pleasure may encompass if they do decide to partake in it. So do you approach the convening of the message in an informative like the USDA, or scare and guilt people into it? The FDA’s campaign will fail, but not for the lack of trying to do well on behalf of the public health, just for the tactics they used. A popular opinion does say that one yield better result thought positive reinforcement. Noë even present an interesting fact to quantify this reason he says, “It encourages people to act on impulse, impulses of fear, if not impulses of desire.” Fear a great motivator for many extreme behaviors, it well documented in history of societies going to war out of fear. So fear is not the answer to convening a massage to help people a better motivator is desire or passion, for people will try harder to make a better decision when desire or passion are the motivations

  • jeromiharris says:

    One thing that Noë lacks in this article is the fact that he comparing something of necessity to something that is not of necessity. I feel if he just kept to the “eating is a necessity” and broke it up between good foods & bad foods the article would be better. It is obvious that smoking is bad for your health, yet saying eating is a necessity but some food we eat is a detriment to our health raises eyebrow. It is somewhat of a paradox. Therefore, to solve the paradox both writer and reader may investigate why this is. Additionally, this raises another question about our own government. Why do we want our government to take care (since in the article bad eating habits lead to health problems) conversely, we do not want the government overly indulging in our daily lives (telling us what to eat).
    The original article by Noë is just simple propaganda that the FDA & USDA use to convey a message not that much different from the propaganda used in WW II. Propaganda is nothing but an emotional tactic through illustration or words to prove a point in an argument. The downside to propaganda is that it lacks evidence. That is why people still choose to smoke and other people choose to make bad eating habits. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but if none of words have reasoning for why something is the way it is than the words are pointless.

  • Lan Nguyen says:

    Alva Noe argues the FDA promotion against smoking is ineffective.
    He compares two ways of communication from USDA and FDA that USDA’s message is in a positive way while FDA employs the impulse of fear. USDA persuades the audience using the well-known fact with a colorful artwork which induces a pleasant feeling leading to the agreement while FDA attempts to shun the audience from an unhealthy habit engaging a disturbing picture to scare the audience. For those who have not smoked, the FDA flyer will definitely work because it strikes them with immense feeling to back away but they are not FDA’s target. So what does the target audience who is smoking or tends to pick it up again think and feel about FDA’s message?

    Alva asserts smoking is only a bad habit; his arguments are as follows:
    1. “People need to live well”. He brings up pleasure as the freedom to make your own decision about what you want to have from life. Smoking cigarette, as he said, is a source of pleasure for those who take pleasure from this activity and decide to exercise it; therefore, smoking is a source of value to those as well. And his argument is much stronger when he refers to other unhealthy habit such as eating junk food or driving fast. Since we always perceive smoking is deadly and horrible, we have never thought objectively that smoking is simply similar to other unhealthy habit which may lead to death if be exercised to excess.
    2. Another good point is that he argues “smoking won’t necessarily kill people” by twisting both scientific facts and statistics which used to be utilized intensively to be against smoking. As for the scientific facts, he claims smoking makes it more likely to get lung cancer, heart disease and other deadly conditions but it is not an absolutely certain correlation. As for the statistics from American Cancer Society – using a credible source of information increases his argument strength, one half of smokers who continue to smoke will die from a smoking-related disease but one half is not one hundred per cent.
    3. Coming back to the comparison between USDA’s and FDA’s tactics, he attests USDA is assisting audience to eat well in order to live longer and better while FDA is trying to stop people from taking a pleasure from an activity which means to prevent people from living well.

    I agree with Alva that FDA’s propaganda will work on the short run due to the impulse of horror, fear but in the long run, the effect will not be as strong.

  • I agree with the author’s point that the FDA’s methods to prevent smoking are outrageous and more importantly, will not work. However, I do not see his comparison exactly compatible for exactly a point he had identified: that food is out of necessity and smoking is for leisure. Now he attempts to defend his comparison by stating that both objectives are to prevent untimely deaths or unhealthy lifestyle however I believe he is missing a large point: one of the ad campaigns is to eat BETTER, the other is to STOP all together. What would an informative, thoughtful ad look like for anti-smoking. Hate to say it but frankly, patronizing: it almost sounds like an oxymoron. Whether you have smoked personally, never smoked, rich, poor, educated or non educated, it is hard to find someone who does not know cigarettes can lead to cancer and even death.

    Healthy eating styles, on the other hand, is surprisingly undiscussed. Most members of society do not think much about what they are eating or how, put together with other meals, it will effect their bodies. At best, one can say not to have too many sweets: yet still, soda runs rampant in schools and kid’s diets with few parents fully appreciating that this habit can lead to diabetes.

    My point here is that clearly the FDA’s ad campaign is ineffective and even intellectually insulting. However, it is hard for me to thing of any other kind of picture or diagram to depict this information without being patronizing. My suggestion? Stick to one of the clearest images out there: text. I look at the FDA ad and frankly, the warning sign states it all, “WARNING: Cigarettes cause cancer.” Now that wasn’t so hard?

  • Cheng-Hua Wang says:

    For the most part, I agree with Alva Noe. The USDA approach to informing about the benefits of healthy eating is better than the FDA and their scare campaign against smoking. However, I believe that everyone is entitled to make their own choice, preferably with all the information. People should be able to weigh these choices, do I like smoking enough to risk cancer and death? The answer may very well be yes. Do I want to eat unhealthy even though it can cause health problems? Maybe I like the taste of unhealthy foods so much that I believe it is worth risking health problems. Luckily for me, I don’t smoke nor do I eat particularly unhealthy, but for people who do, it may be one of the few pleasures they have in life that makes it worth it for them to indulge.

    After looking at the links provided by Alva Noe, I feel that he is right about the USDA’s campaign. After browsing the USDAsite a bit, I found it has lots to offer, especially on how to get low cost yet healthy food and how to make food interesting and diverse. The positive information provided by the USDA’s site was informative and useful. After looking at the FDA’s site, I felt hammered by the constant attacks on smoking. If I used this site as my sole source of information on smoking, I would never smoke and think that anyone who smokes has a death wish. But what are the benefits of smoking? After googling “benefits of smoking” the first site that was returned was and the second was the Wikipedia page on Health benefits of smoking. I believe that people have to have a reason to smoke to begin with so there has to be something good about it. From what I have gathered, there are only two benefits of smoking, aid in digestion and stress relief. That may be enough for some people, but not enough for me to start smoking. Over all, I think that the FDA’s scare campaign should be replaced with a campaign to get the information out. This would likely be hard since the information about smoking health risks is innately frighting but at least an attempt should be made.

  • Mai Quynh Ta says:

    Firstly, I agree with Noe that the FDA’s ad creates a very negative reaction.
    Secondly, I am a little confuse with the argument of this article. I think it is weak. For starter, when comparing two subjects, one has to compare them within the same aspect. The USDA’s picture is to educate public to have a healthy diet while the FDA’s picture is to educate the public to quit smoking because it is very bad to health. The points of these pictures are different therefore this comparison is unparalleled. In addition, Noe’s argument structure is also unequal in a sense that he talked a lot about smoking and that “it is no sure thing that a smoker will die of a smoking-related illness”, which makes his whole article sounds subjective and biased. It seems to me that he is a smoker and he wrote this article because he hates FDA’s picture and wants to oppose it. Moreover, such pictures as FDA’s are mainly posted on cigarette boxes which target to smokers. They are gross but if they may help smokers to quit or smoke less, why not use them given that smoker is undoubtedly bad for health.
    Besides, instead of advertising like FDA, what other positive and effective ways you can do?

  • lauracava says:

    I disagree with Alva Noe when he says that the FDA seeks to “cause” people to fear smoking. We are informed about smoking and what it does to the body from a young age. They aren’t telling us we can’t smoke or we shouldn’t eat this way, rather they are informing us of the consequences that may follow. People don’t realize the severity of smoking health hazards until they have actually seen it for themselves. Now, I’m not saying this will stop everyone from smoking, but everyone should know it could happen to them. Nothing good comes out of smoking and most people start at a young age trying to fit in and seem “cool”. If you ask almost anyone, they have either had someone or know of someone who has died from the effects of smoking. If the FDA didn’t put these notifications around then people would try to sue or find ways to blame the corporations as well as the government for not making these health issues known.
    There are encouraging ads out there to try and help people get over there addiction and stop people now instead of later. It is a known fact that smoking causes all these cancers and problems to the body, so why start? Another factor is that scaring people away from smoking may be the only way for some. Looking at this from a parents perspective, you can only protect your kids so much. People are going to make their own decisions so showing kids that these harmful and physically unattractive problems are caused from smoking may help prevent them from even starting. People worry about how they look on the outside because that is what can be seen, but when they see what the inside can look like, it may just change their mind about smoking.

  • Alex Mandel says:

    I thought Alva made a good argument for his point. I do happen to agree with him about the ineffectiveness of the FDA’s ads and how they choose to invoke fear instead of giving information about smoking. Actually if you ever read Malcom Gladwell’s tipping point it explains how despite the FDA’s and government best efforts to combat teen smoking with ads such as these, teen smoking has been on the rise. In fact when asked most smokers overexagerrate the health hazards of smoking. So smokers are informed of the dangers and still continue to smoke. Trying to scare people into not smoking using impulsive fear is like when a parent tells a child he has to do something because I am the parent.

  • Evan Samlin says:

    I agree, in theory, with the author’s premise that having an informed society is better than one whose members act on impulse. It would be great if everyone in the FDA’s target market took the time to really process and contemplate the health effects of smoking and made a calculated decision to stop (or never start).

    The real question, though, is a bit different. Given the reality of today’s fast-paced world – one where people are inundated with information – what is the most effective way to make an impact on the largest number of people? Good marketing is about connecting to one’s audience, and of the two campaigns, the smoking one definitely makes the stronger immediate connection. This is especially true among the teenagers and young adults who are of primary concern to these organizations, and who have notoriously short attention spans.

    A few people will look at the colorful USDA chart, see that it makes sense and maybe learn something they did not know. Then, they will order a pizza this weekend… because who really eats 27% vegetables everyday, anyway? Everyone else will simply disregard the message (“I don’t need to worry about that right now” or “I’ll make it my New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier”) and return to their smartphones.

    However, if I were a smoker (or thinking about starting to smoke) and then saw gruesome ads with decaying mouths, I would definitely take notice. “That couldn’t ever be me, could it?” Granted, it is unlikely that I would stop smoking right on the spot, but I might begin to at least ask this sort of question. I might even gather the courage to begin looking for some more information about smoking’s health effects. The “fear” campaign alone might not be sufficient to deter me, but it could be effective if coupled with timely and useful information.

    Or maybe the author is correct when he says, “Will the FDA’s scare tactics get people to stop smoking cigarettes? I doubt it.” But how can he write an opinion piece like this without any relevant statistics or studies to back up his viewpoint? Granted, my opinion here is not backed by much research, but I would likely be sure to include some if it were to be published on NPR’s website.

  • The article discusses the use of pictures to convey a message. The FDA use pictures to try to manipulate the public into thinking smoking is bad and the USDA use pictures to encourage the the public into health eating. I agree with the writer, scary pictures of the negative effects of smoking is not going to suddenly stop people from smoking. It has become common knowledge that there is a relationship between cancer and smoking. Though the relationship may not be direct like say the relationship between mosquitos and malaria, a relationship still exists. Given the increase of number of cases of cancer, one would expect that the increased fear of death would disuade smokers from smoking. Seeing as this has not been the case, a picture showing the effects has little to no chance of doing what the fear of death could not. The USDA on the other hand use happy pictures that encourage a healthier life. They are not trying manipulate the public to make a general decision, instead they are showing what you can get if you eat healthy.

  • Noe’s comparison between the FDA’s campaign and the USDA’s campaign is flawed for the simple fact that they are so very different it is, cue cliché saying, like comparing apples to oranges. For a start the intended audience of both campaigns are very different. I think Noe makes the mistake of assuming that FDA is directing their message to existing smokers, trying to get them to stop. Existing smokers are probably the best educated people on the dangers of smoking, they are well aware, no amount of reminder is going to alleviate the symptoms of their addiction. However, people that haven’t tried smoking before are very likely going to be deterred from doing so after a short look at the condition of the person whose teeth are photographed in the image. And ex-smokers only have to take a look at the pack to be reminded of the dangers that the fought hard to leave behind and will be encouraged not to fall back into that addiction. Additionally as he rightly points out, the USDA’s campaign is designed to encourage an improvement in the way one carries out an activity that is essential to survival, eating, while the FDA’s campaign is designed to deter people from an activity that has been proven to be detrimental to one’s efforts to survive. Two very different approaches to solving a problem; one attempts to discourage, the other encourage. So while you could argue that it is a fair comparison based solely on the fact that they are both campaigns using graphical medium to communicate a change in peoples behavior, the comparison is both pointless and unjust to both campaigns because neither one can be fairly represented against the other. And for the sake of critical reasoning, even if the comparison was a fair one, I would have to disagree with Noe for one reason. As a commenter on the initial article points out, without additional education on what foods are a good source of the 5 food groups displayed in the graphic, the USDA’s campaign is miserably ineffective; if the audience doesn’t know what food provides a good source of protein or grains, it wont be much help to them if you show them how to divvy them up on their plate. Contrastingly, the FDA’s graphic needs no additional education to the audience, the message is clear; smoking causes cancer, and in this case, serious dental hygiene problems. While it would take more research to determine how effective either campaign is at getting people to make the change it solicits, in terms of basic communication of a message, I would have to say the FDA’s graphic has the USDA handily beaten.

  • sfh35 says:

    Propaganda comes in many different shapes and sizes. For our generation, unlike previous ones, the propaganda that we have are exposed to aren’t quite as obvious as political or religious propaganda of the past. Noe brings to light two forms of propaganda that our society is being exposed to, one from the USDA toward a proper diet and another from the FDA campaigning against smoking. Noe claims that the fear tactics of the FDA in their non-smoking advertisement are unwarranted and over the top. Though I agree that fear tactics are not necessarily the best way to convey a message, I disagree with Noe trivializing cigarette smoking. I believe this is where her argument loses some validity. Yes it is true that you will not necessarily die from smoking cigarettes, but smoking will also not help you live any longer or nor healthier. On the other hand eating healthy and properly will, as told to us by the wonderful USDA picture. This fundamental difference in campaigns is where Noe’s argument falls apart. Eating healthy will benefit ones health and ones life, no questions asked, no what ifs. Whereas smoking cigarettes may cause serious health problems. Understood once again that the may is what Noe uses to justify smoking. In my opinion that little word may does not justify doing anything.

  • rdl37 says:

    The new design to be implemented on cigarette packs will not have the desired effect the FDA is looking for. The hope is that before people pick up a cigarette to smoke it the images on the pack will be so horrific it will prevent them from smoking it. I do not see this as possible. Most people in today’s world have seen pictures of a decaying lung or the effects of emphysema. I think the article does a good job illustrating the same feeling. He is using the argument that positive reinforcement will beget better results then negative reinforcement. Raising a child, and participating in the development of my 6 nieces and nephews have made me inclined to agree with the author. Educating current and potential smokers in how to control their habit and inhibitions is a far more effective tool to overcoming drug abuse (nicotine and tobacco are drugs) then just scarring someone of the possibilities. What I feel could happen if this campaign is mildly successful is that these would be smokers will just fill that newly formed void with something else. If the message is not to overcome these desires, but to be afraid of them no real progress will be made.

  • taylorlnolan says:

    Noë is arguing the effect of representation of messages in order to persuade the public to take certain actions. The belief he has is that the messages we are getting from public campaigns need to be informative, without being manipulative. Noë compares two advertisements, one from the USDA promoting a healthy diet, and the other from the FDA warning against cigarettes. According to Noë the way the USDA presented their information was clear for the public to take advantage of, whereas the FDA used scare tactics to advise against smoking. Noë believes that fear is not a proper way to inform the public about the decisions they are making, and that the fear (of cancer) isn’t even completely accurate. He doesn’t say that there are no health risks to smoking, because it is known that they are, but he saying that these don’t always lead to death- a message the FDA may be sending. It isn’t what the FDA is advertising though; there is no mention of death in the picture. The USDA presents a plan of action for people to have a healthy diet, the FDA is doing its duty to show the risks the cigarettes possess. Noë talks about the long term effects of the advertisements; he says that the FDA’s campaign will not serve its purpose in the long run, but the USDA’s diagram will. Maybe that is true, but in the quick glance of an advertisement, what is going to stick in someone’s head more, something that scares them or a colorful diagram of proportions?
    Unrelated to the advertisement argument, Noë brings up the division of resources between poorer and richer Americans. He believes that the diagram from the USDA gives the chance for poorer Americans to make healthier dietary choices. That is the part of the reason for the advertisement, but it brings no benefit to his argument against instilling fear, like the FDA does. The financial means of Americans and their life expectancy just throws off the point he is trying to make completely.

  • I believe that Alva has a pretty skewed opinion on the matter of how to change people via advertisements. He thinks that all forms of scare tactics are not the way to go. I, however, disagree with this thought. I think, that in certain situations, scare tactics are necessary to stop people from doing potentially harmful and life threatening things. In the case of smoking, a scare tactic is perfectly logical. You can go the other direction but it won’t be as successful. If you were to show someone an advertisement that basically said “look at this stuff you can do because you didn’t die of lung cancer!” it wouldn’t come across as effective because people will think “yeah, but smoking now is a great stress reliever and makes me feel better in general.” However, if you were to show them how messed up they can get by smoking, as seen in the FDA advertisement, they may think “Well then, maybe I can find other stress relievers instead of smoking that will kill me eventually.” In situations like these, people will greatly overlook positive advertisements because the vast majority of the world can’t see past the current month. In situations like eating healthy, you can only use positive advertisements over scare tactics. Showing how rewarding a healthy diet can be will be far more considered than showing pictures of obese people and heart attacks. Why? Because weight is an extremely sensitive issue. You can’t show overweight people in advertisements without offending someone. You can’t use this logic with the smoking case either, because some overweight people have medical conditions that lead to it and that there are far more overweight people than there are smokers. Even so, the negative effects of a bad diet are far more noticeable than the negative effects of smoking. All in all, you have to be real careful about the advertisements you choose to use, because each kind of advertisement is tailored differently.

  • annaychin says:

    I have to agree with Noë’s assessment of the FDA’s warning ads against smoking. It’s clearly using fear as a tactic to deter people from smoking, yet the health risks associated with smoking do not seem to be an effective deterrent. It should be kept in mind that most people who smoke probably started in their teens and speaking on a biological-physiological level, teenagers lack a lot of sense adults have. Their frontal lobes are not fully developed and they do not seem to grasp the concept of long term consequences the way adults do. And even then, not even all adults grasp that concept still. Every smoker I have spoken to are fully aware of the health risks but they can’t quit. I have seen statistics that show the success rate of quitting smoking is actually really low. It boils down to the addictiveness of the nicotine and all the other crap they put in cigarettes. Instead of bombarding the public with gross images of rotting teeth and lung cancer, the government should put more emphasis on banning such carcinogenic and hazardous ingredients used in cigarettes. If not, it might help more if the ads at least appeal to the superficial side of human nature. After all, smoking can lead to wrinkles and yellow teeth. And while I like the new USDA’s food group distribution, I don’t necessarily think it will lead to healthier dietary habits especially in lower income households. The fact of the matter is unhealthy foods are cheaper, and it all boils down to money. It doesn’t matter if they have a good visual representation of what their plate should look like if it’s more expensive than the Big Mac at McDonalds. Plus, it still doesn’t address the issue of portion control, which is America’s major problem with food. Afterall, it could just be a extra large plate.

  • davidhanaway says:

    I don’t believe that Noe really got his point across that well. He demonstrated that the FDA’s advertising campaign only encourages people to act on impulse. But what is really wrong with acting on an impulse? I am not a smoker but if I was and saw the picture FDA uses in their advertising campaign, it would definitely sway me from smoking. The advertisement clearly demonstrates a negative of smoking that it makes your mouth/teeth gross and unhealthy. Also, the fact that smoking causes cancer is listed on the AD is a true fact. The fact alone makes me wonder why people smoke in the first place, I don’t understand why they do it. I feel as if it is a waste of money and it only is used to get a fake pick me up. I don’t understand why smoking is even allowed in the world, to me I don’t see the benefits. It only creates health problems. So why not try and scare the public from using cigarettes? Also, what advertisement is really going to change someones opinion on smoking? How much time to people actually give the advertisements when looking at them. If you post something as gross as the picture of the teeth it would attract more attention. I feel more attention than a diagram trying to teach someone about the negative facts of smoking.

  • smb366 says:

    It is interesting to see how Noë compared the campaigns of the USDA to the FDA. He discusses the USDA’s new diagram, and how it breaks down the essential foods and how much is necessary to eat to maintain a healthy diet. It provides the public with a color coded diagram that is labeled with grains, protein, fruit, vegetables, and dairy. From what I see while looking at this, I see a plate where about ¼ is colored green and that portion is labeled vegetables. What does that mean? Does my plate need to be green and filled ¼ with vegetables. For a person who is pretty educated like myself, seeing a diagram that shows how many vegetables that I must eat to maintain a healthy diet is easily understandable. But what about for someone who isn’t educated? Would seeing that diagram confuse them? Noë argues that is offers people who lack resources clear guidance on how to eat well, offering them a tool to eat well. But what does it offer these people? Noë does not take into account that these people so called “lacking resources” may not have a computer to see this new USDA diagram. And if they did, would they be looking up how much they must eat and what is the healthy option? I don’t think Noë has a strong argument for the USDA. The diagram is in no way simple to understand. It doesn’t tell you how many servings are needed, and if it did, not many people can comprehend how much a serving is.
    The FDA with their anti- smoking ad’s takes on an entirely different form compared to the USDA. Noë explains to his readers that the FDA uses manipulation in order to show people the possible effects of smoking, with the goal of having people to be afraid to smoke and not convincing them to not smoke. I find myself at odds with Noe’s statement. Wouldn’t the advertisement of the FDA showing grotesque images of what could potentially happen convince people to not smoke, knowing that they could potentially have that happen to them in the future? While it may make a person afraid, wouldn’t it also make them possibly not want to smoke? I do not see a difference between those two statements and this is where I do not think Noë is giving us a good argument. He continues to say that the FDA is manipulating the public by continuing to show images and put them in ads like these to what might await for a smoker. How is that manipulation? The FDA isn’t doctoring photos, and from what I can infer from this article, they are real images and outcomes of smoking on real people. How is that manipulation? It is the full truth.
    I cannot say whether the FDA or USDA advertisement would provide more outcomes. It truly does depend on the person and whether they react more to images of smoking or like to read and understand and comprehend what healthy eating entails. I think Poe’s final statement saying that the USDA’s diagram will be more beneficial in the long run is a steep statement and Noë definitely did not give enough of an argument to make that conclusion.

  • sm939 says:

    I agree that the FDA ad is designed to scare people but what I don’t quite understand is how it’s much different than the USDA ad in the sense that I feel that they are both informative. The argument is that the USDA ad informs while the FDA ad scares and more people will listen to the informative ad yet I think that the anti-smoking ad does inform and tries to inform the audience about the effects of smoking and what horrible things happen to people who do smoke. While the two ads take two totally different approaches, I still think both are effective.

    I’m also a little confused as to Alva’s argument since he uses two completely different examples and that kind of conflicts with his argument. On the one hand he uses food and eating habits which is something that people need to survive while on the other hand he uses smoking which is not what everyone needs to survive. I feel that his argument would be much more sound if he used two examples that were on the same page and that could be compared better.

  • melvinjboban says:

    This article basically summarizes the impact of advertisements towards the general public, and how they differentiate themselves through how the advertisements are presented.

    Noe explains that one advertisement of smoking simply tries to scare people into quitting due to death. In the other advertisement, the USDA explain the health benefits of eating healthy.

    In my opinion Noe is somewhat right. When it comes to the short term of things, the advertisement against smoking works well for the present time, but in the long run it really doesnt change anything. When it comes to the USDA’s advertisement, it explains facts and shows the how healthy eating really effects your overall life.

    The main difference or problem I see within the argument though goes around the concept of the fact that food is indeed a necessity for an individuals survival while smoking really isnt. Its really hard to compare the two things because of the fact one is a need and another is somewhat a luxury. Though you can argue the fact that smoking at one point does become a necessity to a lot of people, it really in the initial point of things is not.

  • Steve Ford says:

    After reading this article I understand where the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” comes from. Alva does a good job of pointing out how completely different two advertising campaigns can be. Words can be a person’s best tools if he/she knows how to use them. Alva points out that the government is using two different approaches because food is a necessity and cigarettes are just a luxury good. I like the way the government is attacking cigarettes. I have friends that smoke and it kills me to see them smoke. I think fear is a good way to stop certain people from smoking. I also agree that the government should focus on Americans eating healthier. I also think that the government knows exactly how important each issue is. Little steps are being taken and I feel that we are doing a better job then we ever had. Slow and steady wins the race. These advertising campaigns are only getting stricter, so I am confident this will work out.

  • Anqi Li says:

    In this article, Alva did a good job on the argument, he gave enough evidence to proof his idea. But, I’m not really agree with his opinion. In my point of view, only the smokers can have the right of decide smoke or not smoke, even though the advertisement may seems so terrible. To be a “new anti-smoking package art”, the picture do seems enough”anti-smoking”, and I believe many smokers may think about this picture after they see it.However, let’s look back to Alva’s argument, he said smoking is a source of pleasure and FDA’s advertisements scared many smokers. I understand this sentence as Alva thought FDA is trying to deprive smoker’s right of smoking by using scaring pictures. This sounds so ridiculous. The smokers choose to see this picture or not, they choose to think about this picture or not, and finally they choose to continue smoking or not, so how can you say the FAD should responsible for this whole thing? What’s more, to be a bio major student, smoking is not harmful to smoker, but even more harmful to second-hand smokers. Alva said smoking is a source of pleasure and also a pleasure of value, but it is necessary to warn smokers that when you are enjoying your smoking, there are so many non-smokers are forced to be second-hand smokers, and your “source of pleasure” and “source of value” are just build up on harming other’s lives.

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