Big TobaccoQuit News

When Will Big Tobacco Quit?

Big TobaccoA special thanks to Vidocq on the accountability forums for bringing this to my attention.

Altria has finally agreed that smoking is bad for you.  Now they’re trying to convince you (and the FDA) that chewing isn’t.  For those of you that don’t know, Altria is a holding company with holding such as Philip Morris and UST (US Smokeless Tobacco).

As you know, President Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act last year.  With all laws there is a feeling out process that is taking place now and Altria wants to be very much a part of it.  According to a recent New York Times article:

A series of letters that Altria submitted to the F.D.A. as part of that process argues that the government should, effectively, sign off on the notion that smokeless tobacco products are less harmful than cigarettes — and that Altria and other companies should be allowed to market them as such to consumers.

This to me sounds like a very slippery slope.  I’ve debated often about the dangers of smokeless vs. cigarettes so I won’t bother to go into it here.  What I will say is this really pisses me off.  Let’s just say for arguments sake that smokeless is indeed safer than cigarettes.  OK fine.  You know exactly what the packaging is going to say:

This product is a safe alternative to cigarettes.

And even if it doesn’t say that it’ll say something along those lines.  You can be sure that it won’t tell you any of the DANGERS of smokeless.  You can be sure that it won’t tell you how addictive smokeless is and you can be SURE that they won’t tell you how difficult it is to break that addiction.

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  1. Copenhagen has released a series of print ads in Canada with photos of their products. The ads are on display in bar washrooms and elsewhere. The packaging reads

    “This product is not
    A safe alternative
    To cigarettes”

    However, the cans in the ads are positioned in a way that the cans in the ad read…

    “this product is
    A safe alterna
    To cigarett”

    Transparent but none the less evil.

  2. Yes, it is despicable the half-truths and outright lies that pass for marketing and advertising. I’m concerned (with apologies for getting all political) that, with the recent SCOTUS decision allowing corporations to engage in unfettered political speech with few limits on the amount of money they can spend in elections, there will be few politicians willing to enact limiting provisions on Big Tobacco. BT can simply out spend, and therefore use the media to deceive and slander, anyone willing to stand up to them in legislatures across the country or congress. Their death business brings in big bucks that they will be willing to spend to keep on killing.

    And congratulations on the month, Bradley.

  3. Bradley – first and foremost, congratulations on 30 days free! That’s an AMAZING accomplishment! Secondly I couldn’t agree more… I’m guessing that many of the folks that work at “Big Tobacco” have never been users (at least the kind that have ever tried to quit). I can’t imagine ANYONE who’s ever gone through a quit having the gall to work for them.

  4. This is pathetic. A huge company interested in additional profits through deceptive marketing will basically broker a deal with the devil to line their coffers. As somebody who has just now (1/31/10) reached 30 days without dipping Copenhagen, I can tell you how incredibly hard it has been. To say, in ANY terminology, that smokeless is a safe alternative is the equivalent of saying eating cheese fries is better than Big Macs for avoiding heart disease. Give me a break. I wish some of these corporate fat cats could somehow be forced to become addicts themselves, then forced to quit, and then experience the joyful withdrawal pains so they would understand, firsthand, how their profits are actually achieved…

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