Truth Initiative has a billion-dollar endowment, influential connections in the advertising industry, a powerful position in tobacco control, and really, really bad musical taste. That makes the wealthy anti-tobacco advertising organization the ideal source for bad anti-vaping (and anti-smoking) music videos. And Truth doesn’t disappoint!
Their recent output has ranged from unintentionally hilarious (butts that actually look like testicles) to dull and inauthentic (the obligatory anti-vaping rap song) to annoying and repetitive (vaping puppets and their intolerant friends). The butt/testicle video wound up being a huge embarrassment, with social media comments that ran about 70 percent along the lines of, “Those sure look like testicles to me.”
But now Truth has struck gold — or something — with its latest effort, a GWAR-inspired shock-metal anthem titled “Heavy Metal Kills,” dedicated to preventing what they warn is an imminent planet-destroying holocaust of discarded vape pods.
Like the butt/testicle video, this masterpiece is part of Truth’s occasionally mentioned concern over tobacco litter. The problem with discarded cigarette butts is real — and JUUL really should have a recycling program — but no one who watches this hot mess will walk away thinking about Mother Earth.
“The reaper rides a heavy metal sled,” sings Truth’s menacing environmental justice demon, “that can leach toxic nickel, toxic lead…PLUS NICOTIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!” The demon throws his arms in the air and shakes them as much as he can while wearing that clunky costume.
When the “mango flavored poison” drips into the ground, even the worms become helpless nicotine junkies. “Sorry, worms,” howls the terrifying vape reaper, “you’re addicted now.” The nicotine is supposed to be the scariest part, but if we were assessing actual environmental damage, surely the hard plastic shells of disposable pods would be the real problem.
Since the Truth YouTube channel stopped allowing viewer comments — possibly during the butt/testicle PR nightmare — we can’t be sure what Truth’s target teenage audience thinks, but based on the howls of laughter from everyone else, the answer is probably not much.
The video has been on YouTube for over a week and has fewer than 2,400 views, so it’s a good bet that no actual kids are paying attention. However, the Truth post that launched nicotine-addicted worms and a mace-impaled mango into the Twittersphere has 120 comments, and not a single one is complimentary.
Some are really funny though:
If you’re interested in a serious look at the environmental costs and benefits of smoking versus vaping, check out this article by Canadian PhD candidates Amelia Howard and Adam Houston. (Spoiler: the issue isn’t as simple as Truth would like you to believe.)
But wait at least a half-hour after watching the Truth video before reading anything serious — to avoid brain cramps.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for the perfect vape for those late nights watching anti-vaping propaganda, the real GWAR actually has an e-liquid line at Mt. Baker Vapor, with flavors like Uncolored Jizmoglobin and German Chocolate Beefcake. I can’t vouch for the flavors, but at least it has NICOTIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE.