Kaywoodie Pipes - For his health.

Smoking news now, from 1957! Smoking is good for your nerves, (once you're addicted to the nicotine). Nervousness is bad for your health. Therefore, smoking is good for you. "Learning to relax the Kaywoodie way could add years to his life" End of discussion!

The research and Googling team had a hard time finding proof of exactly what year we knew that pipe smoking was basically just as bad for your health as cigarette smoking. The long and short of it is that any tissue that comes in contact with smoke is at a much greater risk of cancer. Pipe and cigar smokers tend not to inhale the smoke into the lungs, like cigarette smokers do. The smoke is held in the mouth for a few seconds and then exhaled. This decreases the risk of lung cancer, but oral cancer and tooth-falling-out-ness is still pretty horrible and somehow more gross than just having your lungs rot.

So, while this 1957 ad MAY have been produced with the ignorance of pipe smoking's negative effects (yeah right), they're still using some deceptive arguments on the reader. Fans of logic call this kind of thing "logical fallacies". A passing familiarity with a list of logical fallacies (see that link) makes you mush less of a sucker and way less desirable as a chump to advertisers. Logical fallacies will tend to leap out at you, once you learn to recognize a few of them.

Most - if not all - advertising uses some kind of logical fallacy to try and get you to hand over some money, because the most logical thing to do is always to assume advertisers are constantly lying to you, and buy nothing. When I first scanned this Kaywoodie ad, I was expecting the "appeal to antiquity" argument, which can be summarized as "People have been doing this for a long time, so it must be good." You know, pipes being all old-timey and stuff. The appeal to antiquity is constantly used to sell superstitious herbal remedies like acupuncture and ginseng, both of which have yet to be proven to do anything at all, beyond the placebo effect.

But nope, no antiquity here. Kaywoodie is handing out a heaping helping of red herring, though. A red herring is basically misdirection. "Don't pay attention to that. Look at this over here." Kaywoodie argues that pipe smoking is relaxing, despite the fact that you're effing up your health. Even there they are assuming you're already addicted to the smoke. First-timers wouldn't really get much relaxation from the experience, apart from the feeling that they look cool or are impressing someone, as the title of the ad says.

The pipe in the ad is $50. Holy hell, that's like 400 bucks in today's money! Weirder still, I found a Kaywoodie pipe that seems a lot like the one in the picture, and it's going for $27. What goes on? Farther down, the ad mentions matched sets selling for up to $2500. Whaaa? They must be made from the Elephant Man's pelvis or something. Those have got to be some incredible pipes. And just for those of you playing along at home, that's called the "appeal to wealth" fallacy.


Fil said...

looks like a breath freshener I bought in Japan. Honest to God. It has the look of a tobacco pipe, but you load the bowl with little menthol/minty canisters. Then you just pull on it as if you were smoking a pipe. Does it work? Hell no. But it was a unique find, and inexpensive.

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