Big Tobacco Kills; Big Tobacco Buys the Government
By Lisa Farver and Steve Milin
Take a look at any news source and you’ll see Obama making a statement about gun violence. There have been countless gun-related tragedies in the United States, so it’s no surprise the media is covering it. At the same time, you’ll never see a news alert that reads: Breaking News Big Tobacco Silently Murdered more than a million People Last Year, or Countless Innocent Bystanders Slain by Secondhand Smoke.
Big tobacco has been buying our government, and tricking and lying to our citizens for well over a century. Just in my lifetime here are some chilling examples.
Due to fires caused by smoking, big tobacco paid an ex-chief fire marshal (though they told the media he “volunteered”) to blame house fires caused by cigarettes on furniture manufacturers who didn’t have the power money to fight back. They were then told they had to find a way to make their furniture flame retardant, and forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to use toxic chemicals to “protect” the US citizens from house fires. Big tobacco sidestepped responsibility and placed the blame elsewhere to protect their profits and harm citizens. Their eventual “solution”? Put an emulsion-based ethylene vinyl acetate adhesive on cigarette paper so it will extinguish. In layman’s terms, that’s carpet glue. So, whoever smokes a cigarette is smoking carpet glue.
Big tobacco has been in bed with the media, government and big pharma for a century. As recently as 50 years ago, cigarette ads featured pictures of doctors promoting cigarettes, with such statistics as, “20,679 physicians say ‘Luckies are less irritating.’” Other ads targeted women by stating that smoking could help you maintain a “slender figure.”
Nurses used to be trained to put out trash can fires because doctors smoked furiously during surgeries. Doctors also recommended cigarettes, and patients were offered a smoke with their daily meals.
That may have changed but to this day, big tobacco is still the number one killer in the country. It doesn’t take an analyst to figure out these statistics:
- Heart disease and cancer kill 1.2 million people every year, according to the CDC
- President Obama said gun violence killed more than 30,000 people last year
- Prescription painkillers killed 16,000 people in 2013
Tobacco companies use carbon monoxide, acetone, embalming fluid, lead, tar, lighter fluid, rat poison, and scores of other cancer-causing chemicals to craft an addictive cocktail of death. Yet they lay the blame where it doesn’t belong, on the least harmful ingredient in a cigarette: nicotine. Nicotine is no more harmful than caffeine and I’m sure tobacco execs enjoy their coffee. Big tobacco is pointing their finger at someone else, and denying the hard fact that big tobacco points a gun at you every time you light up.
This article is first in our series about the smoking truth. Keep an eye on our blog. MORE WILL BE REVEALED.
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