Friday, September 01, 2006

Keeping People Hooked - Increasing Cigarette Nicotine

A new report came out yesterday saying that tobacco companies have been increasing the amount of nicotine in their cigarettes recently to keep people hooked on their product. My question is why is this big news? Anyone who has been paying attention to the tobacco companies story for the past ten or fifteen years know that big tobacco will do almost anything to keep people hooked on their product. The really interesting story behind the story is the government’s love/hate relationship with these tobacco companies. Most state and local government would be in a terrible financial situation if tobacco products were suddenly declared illegal because millions of dollars of tax revenue would disappear.

After most state governments suited the tobacco companies years ago, all the regular Joe’s and Jane’s got out of that deal was some really stupid television commercials talking tough about how bad tobacco executives are and how they have been lying and trying to kill children for decades. There were a few big winners in that anti-tobacco class action extravaganza and those winners were attorneys who made enough money to retire when the money started flowing to the various state governments. I just think it is silly to expect a company, which makes products which have been proven to cause cancer to, somehow on their own, not try and maintain a grip on their customer base.

In the US there always has to be some company or industry which becomes the face of evil to the public. In recent years that industry has been tobacco and from these latest news reports, it might not be long before some smart attorney’s start thinking up another way to sue these companies and become rich themselves. In my opinion, smoking is a choice and people make the choice on whether to smoke based on their own reasons and not those of government agencies or lawsuits. In most cities around the US, there are tough public smoking bans because people who do not smoke hate the smell of someone else that does.

While I am not a smoker, I use to be and I understand the anger of the non-smoking public at having someone else’s smoke blown in their face. However, I understand that some people are always going to smoke no matter how much a pack of cigarettes cost and no matter how many other people try and guilt them into kicking the habit. I believe most people could quit smoking cigarettes if they really wanted to and while nicotine is a very addictive substance, millions of people quit smoking every single year without any help from medical professionals. I think it is time for lawyers and other government agencies to leave cigarette smokers alone as long as their smoke isn’t bothering anyone else. Lets all try and mind out own business and please let’s quit suing tobacco companies for selling a product that everyone knows is bad for their health.

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