Statistics and Advertising

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 38 million Americans still smoke. Cigarette smoking was especially high among males between 25-64 years old. Since 1964, a warning on the side of each pack of cigarettes has informed the public that smoking is bad for human health and may cause cancer or contribute to other diseases. Still, 480,000 Americans will die of smoking this year (CDC 2020). This figure is shockingly high, exceeding the total number of wartime deaths suffered by 405,399 U.S. military in WW II (Green, 2017). For each smoker who dies, 30 more continue to live with a smoke-related disease. Yet, 15.5% of Americans 18 and younger pick up the habit. The CDC estimates that cigarette and smokeless tobacco industries spent over $9 billion on advertising and promotional expenses in the US in 2018 (CDC 2018).

The question is, how do company advertisements get us to do things most of us agree are bad for our health? More directly to this assignment, how do companies use statistics in misleading ways to convince us to buy their product?

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Sources:

Center for Disease Control. (2020). Smoking and Tobacco Use. (Links to an external site.)

Center for Disease Control. (2018). Smoking is Down, but Almost 38 Million Americans still smoke. (Links to an external site.) also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advertising

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Green, M. (2017). How Many Soldiers Died in Each War? (KQED)

Let’s have some fun! Locate an advertisement in print media, social media, or the internet that uses statistical data. Carefully read the ad and then respond to the following in a paper.

What is the ad trying to say?
What statistical data are misrepresented or exaggerated?
What are the undesirable consequences to the consumer?
What is an ethical solution that considers the welfare of the stakeholders?
Your paper should be two double-spaced pages. Use current APA formatting to cite your sources.

Submit your paper to this assignment.

Your paper will automatically be evaluated through Turnitin when you submit your assignment in this activity. Turnitin is a service that checks your work for improper citation or potential plagiarism by comparing it against a database of web pages, student papers, and articles from academic books and publications. Ensure that your work is entirely your own and that you have not plagiarized any material!

Review the Assignment Rubric for detailed grading information.

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