Fear, uncertainty, and doubt
|used by||TI/CtFK/PAVe, CDC, Bloomberg/WHO|
|motivation||appeal to fear|
FUD is a propaganda tactic to disseminate misinformation. It's usually based on orchestrated PR allegations, usually in the realm of competitors or for later financial gain. (Originated in technicological circles; most prominent was the SCO/Microsoft smear campaign against IBM/Linux in the 90s).
The "FUD" components don't necessarily form a causal/reasoned relationship, but can be roughly grouped into initiator, vague allegations, and future scares. Anti-vaping disinformation relies on gish-gallop arguments:
|Fear||EVALI||argument escalation point|
|Uncertainty||vaping-framedemic, flavour-fallacy||addiction claims to validate prohibition|
|Doubt/Disinformation||ergo-harmful, tobacco-industry||supporting distrust rationales|
There's ample of interwoven distractions that might qualify for either category. And albeit not based on brand recognition or running court cases, the legislative proceedings and emotional pandering (TOTC) made a good substitute. Which also reduced the necessity for paid media campaigns. (Though Bloomberg media and the existing CTFK network played an initial role.)
The purpose of which is to prohibit or reduce the use of non-tobacco products, and drive adults/teenagers back to smoking. Financial incentives exist because of the TMSA, which doesn't cover vaping/SNPs. Some of their strategies emulating that of corporate/big tobacco: Merchants of Doubt
It's seemingly been legitimized to the point, that even researchers now don't mince words about utilizing straight up disinformation:
- Front Psychol: How can e-cigarette fear appeals improve the perceived threat, fear, anger, and protection motivation of young people Which even concluded that appeal to fear is useless for 15-24yo adolescents, but mainly deters 25-35yo smokers.