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20 April 2011

WWE Gambles On Cigy Angle; WWE Lights Up Debate With Tobacco In Media, by Greg Tingle - 20th April 2011

WWE Lights Up Debate With Tobacco In Media...

Regular readers will know all too well that Media Man and and Gambling911 cover all matter of vice in their news reports. Usually its gambling or casino news, but we also cover crime, technology, odds on events and from time to time, cigarettes.

Cigarettes - tobacco or ciggies if you prefer, are back in the news, especially when it comes to the United States and Australia.

Down under the debate is on the way as to if plain packaging should be used at the point of sale (which may help them loose their appeal)... then again, it may work out the opposite also, as when products and services become more controversial, they also often become more popular!

Now leading American owned and operated media company, WWE (formally World Wrestling Federation - before they decided they we not so much wrestling, but sports entertainment), has been dragged into the tobacco in news media debate with one of their stars lighting up a cigarette as part of a story line.

The WWE superstar - the curiously named R-Truth (Ron Killings)... not Cig Killings, lit her up and has raised the ire of anti tobacco advocates across the global including Patrick Reynolds from Tobacco, who is calling for an apology on the stunt.

TMZ broke the story earlier today, but news media wires across the globe and running with it hard, including heated debate at Wrestling Observer Newsletter and the Pro Wrestling Torch.

Reynolds said on the wrestling superstar, "If he wants help in quitting, I'll be happy to be his personal coach."

The WWE issued a statement to TMZ defending the cigarette incident -- saying, "The negative effect smoking has on one’s health and physical performance was a part of a storyline on last night’s Monday Night Raw. Negative depictions of tobacco use on television are not unusual and can be seen on other TV-PG shows."

A Media Man spokesperson said "We're going to back up the WWE and Killings all the way on this one. It's a storyline, not unlike the sort of thing you would see on other American sitcoms, TV series and the like. The WWE audience is not stupid and audiences realise it's showbiz. Most of the programming is clearing PG-13, but somethings things get blurred. It's no secret that smoking is not good for you, and that the way WWE and Killings presented it. Last Monday Night may have been more Raw that usual, but we believe that they did not cross the line. It was interesting and entertaining television in our estimation. As is often the case, it was a small but vocal number of people who complained. For the record, none of our staff smoke either, but most enjoy WWE programming.

A few months ago the WWE also attracted mixed press coverage when it was discovered they offered WWE Poker on their website.

Punters may also be interested to know that a decade ago the then World Wrestling Federation, formally also known as Titan Sports and World Wide Wrestling Federation purchase a land based casino in Las Vegas, however they never developed the sites and chose to sell it for a profit. Returned WWE superstar Kevin "Diesel" Nash also once played a smooth talking Vegas character 'Vinnie Vegas' in World Championship Wrestling.

WWE superstars gamble with their life and risk their neck and back every time they step into the squared circle wrestling ring.

We like one of the WWE slogans 'Don't try this at home', but when it comes to gambling as a whole its hard to beat 'Bet with your head, not over it, and have fun'.

WWE will be touring Australia from July 1st.

Australian Government To Try Boring Cig Packaging In Attempt To Reduce Consumption...

Down under in Australia the government in all their wisdom is pushing hard for a new tool in goal to cut smoking rates: extremely boring cigarette packages!

The government has announced legislation that would ban logos, colors, brand imagery, and promotional text, while mandating that all packages be olive green-determined in studies to be the least appealing color. The move would "take away the tobacco industry’s final capacity to promote its product," says a professor of public health.

Australia has long been a leader in war on tobacco, the Christian Science Monitor reports, but this time Aussie land will face a hell of a fight fight from the tobacco industry. A legal challenge has been threatened, alleging that the proposed legislation infringes on international trademark laws.

Should the government's plan comes to pass, brand names will appear on each cigarette package in a standard font, and the rest of the box will be covered in health warnings.

Summary: boring packages, but will that really stop folks from lighting up, or even trying a cigy for the first time. We're not sold, how about you?

Cigy moving for readers interested: 'Coffee and Cigarettes'

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*The writer is a regular contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They also publish Wrestling News Media