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Posts Tagged ‘Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’

The CDC’s Anti-Smoking Scare Tactics Prove Effective

When gentle persuasion and supportive encouragement fail to get the people you love to quit smoking, try shocking, terrifying, and disgusting them — it worked for the US government.

The first federally funded anti-smoking ad campaign hit the airwaves in the spring of 2012, followed by a second round this past spring. The effort left sugar-coating and consideration for the sqeamish in the dust by featuring graphic images and stories about real ex-smokers who had suffered paralysis, stroke, lung removal, heart attacks and limb amputations.

It seems that as much as people may not want to see such things, they really, really don’t want to experience them. New data released by the Centers for Disease Control show that an estimated 1.6 million Americans tried to quit and at least 100,000 likely succeeded as a direct result of the campaign’s scare tactics. The study also found that during the campaign, the CDC’s national toll-free quit line (1-800-QUIT-NOW) got 132% more calls and its website ( attracted 500,000 more visitors than usual.

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Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

Circumcision Debate Comes to a Head

One of California’s most controversial ballot initiatives — banning circumcision — has taken a turn for the racist, thanks to the mainstream debut of Foreskin Man.”

A ripped-and-caped advocate against the (so-called) defilement of Jewish newborns, the unmistakably Arayan-featured superpower Foreskin Man battles the black-bearded, black-hatted “Monster Mohel,” a sinister snipper who — bloody scissors in hand — sets after helpless male babies in the name of religion.

Depicted in a comic book and online video clips, until late last week, “Foreskin Man’s” shaft-saving efforts had been relatively under-the-radar. On Thursday, however, a San Francisco Chronicle column thrust the comic and its creators into the media spotlight.

“Nothing excites Monster Mohel more than cutting into the penile flesh of an eight-day-old infant boy,” the comic at one point reveals, snipped infants’ tears dripping from its panel. The scene is a bris, the traditional Jewish ceremony in which a newborn boy’s foreskin is removed by a professional snipper (called a mohel) in the presence of several dozen fawning friends and relations. Really, there’s nothing evil about it: The baby cries, the relations cry, pastries are served.

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