The Bank Never Goes Broke But You Can

I’ve never understood how any kind of anarchist, anti-corporate/profit motive dude, anti-economic-globalization, social justice champion, anti-sweatshop, or what-have-you activist can justify smoking.

They all want to destroy, or at the very least change, “the man” yet will continue supporting “the man” in the most blatant way possible – SMOKING.

Why, why don’t people make this connection? (I’m obviously frustrated by many peoples inability to reason). Here are some more facts that should help people make the connection between ruthless capitalism and smoking:

-Children are used to cultivate tobacco plants.

In Kenya, kids are taken out of school to help with the harvest. This continues the loop of uneducated farmers (which don’t know how to budget efficiently thus keeping their families poor).

-Farmers who cultivate the tobacco plant are exposed to the toxicity of it and get sick as a result. These symptoms include headaches, constipation, nausea, skin/eye irritation and chest pains. Some symptoms are temporary, others are chronic.

-In 1999 cigarette companies racked it in:
Philip Morris (now Altria) earned $47.1 billion in revenue with 16.4% of the global market share
British American Tobacco earned $31.1 billion in revenue with 15.4% of the global market share
Japan Tobacco International earned $21.6 billion in revenue with 7.2% of the global market share

-In 1999 $200 per smoker was spent on advertising in the U.S. (about $0.46 off each pack sold). The people over at Adbusters mustn’t smoke then.

-Tobacco companies in the US spend over $32 million each year to lobby the American government.

-Addicted smokers who work in the developing world have to on average spend about 45 minutes working just to purchase a pack of 20 smokes. Money that can be better spent.

-In America, smoking cost the healthcare system $76 billion, Germany $14.7 billion, and Australia $6 billion. (all figures from 2002)

-Smuggling of cigarettes is commonplace and done with the consent – or even support – of the tobacco companies. China lost $1.8 billion in revenue to smuggling in 2002 while spending $3.5 billion on healthcare for smokers. The RCMP just caught some smugglers, whose scheme evaded $1.3 million in taxes and duties.

-Governments still subsidize tobacco growing operations (including Ontario’s). The EU handouts $1.2 billion to grow the crop, yet it accounts for only 0.1% of farmed land in Europe. That’s $1.2 billion that could be put to much better uses.

-It is estimated that some 6 million children are also used to roll smokes in India.

-Tobacco growing operations are also a colonial legacy.
What this all boils down to is that anyone that is anti-corporate (or of the same ilk, or even remotely close to this thinking) cannot reconcile their smoking with the rest of their lifestyle choice. The only sane option is to not smoke.

Yeah for cognitive dissonance!