Philip Morris is the world’s largest tobacco company. Here is a link for facts from Stanford on Philip Morris. Total annual revenue is at 74 billion as of 1998.
In the above report are these statements:
There are really no longer any disputes about the negative health effects of tobacco and the fact that smoking tobacco can lead to the loss of life. But just to reiterate these points from important groups :
According to a 1999 World Health Organization report “Tobacco has killed four million people in the year 1999. [Meaning that 1 out of every 10 deaths was tobacco related] By the 2020s or the early 2030s, that preventable death toll will rise to 10 million deaths per year.”
According to a report by the World Bank, “Half of all long-term smokers will eventually be killed by tobacco, and of these, half will die during productive middle age, losing 20 to 25 years of life.
The diseases associated with smoking are well documented and include cancers of the lung and other organs, ischemic heart disease and other circulatory diseases, and respiratory diseases such as emphysema. In regions where tuberculosis is prevalent, smokers also face a greater risk than nonsmokers of dying from this disease.”
The other day I was telling my son about how hilarious AND sick it is that Philip Morris is also the largest advertiser for ANTI-smoking campaigns. Huh? You read that right. Yes, they produce the product that is responsible for killing millions of users every year. Yes, they produce commercials and advertisements telling people not to smoke and the hazards of smoking. Why? Damage control. Agreements with legislators at the Federal and State level so they can continue selling death and addiction.
This brings me to an article Coach Tom pointed me to today found here.
In this article on American’s expanding waistline Laura Kipnis states “Despite the fact that most of us now apparently face a roly-poly future, a visceral revulsion toward fat persists. It’s an interesting form of social hypocrisy, hatred for fatness coupled with a free ride toward the industries that exploit the susceptible. But wait: Is that the sound of corporate responsibility kicking into gear? Yes, in its ever public-spirited way, McDonald’s has just announced it will start printing calorie information on its food wrappers. Once you’ve paid for your Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, you will learn that you’re about to put away 730 calories*.
This brings me to the point of this article from me and the reason I told my son it’s hilarious AND sick that you consider the producers of addiction-based consumables are also the ones creating campaigns that give the appearance they care about your health too.
Here’s why it’s hilarious AND sick.
When you create an addictive substance you haven’t created a product for a consumer. You have created a product to create a user. A consumer can say “No thanks, I don’t want that.” A user is a whole different animal–and I do mean animal. Once I have you addicted I can tell you in advertisements and box labels all day long the damage you are doing to yourself. Your chances of quitting because of my campaign are two: slim and none.
It’s quite a successful business model really. Create a product that creates a USER rather than a consumer. The product should truly feed a biological addiction and then, after lawsuits and a few billion in payouts, create campaigns that seem to be against the very product you produce. The cool AND sick thing about this business model is once you have the subject under the grips of your addictive product you KNOW very well that cutely devised campaigns that seem educationally against your product won’t change your USER from using. Oh, sure, a few will maybe get the message and change but it won’t be because of your message. And you know it. They’ll change for the same reasons any addict changes–the multivaried and complex reasons beyond the scope of this article.
Tobacco and junk-food producers KNOW what they are doing. They know the users they are creating. And USERS aren’t consumers.