Tobacco companies and people associated with their business are responsible for the death of six million people a year. In fact, this is equivalent to the number of Jewish people killed during the Holocaust. In a year! It would seem that everyone should know how dangerous their products are. But tobacco companies are constantly coming up with new tactics to further increase the number of sales.
1. Tobacco advertising as a successful marketing move
Smoking is no longer considered an occupation of the elite. Mouthpieces, decorative ashtrays, expensive cigars… it’s all in the past or is saved for cigar clubs. Today, smoking is much more associated with the working people, who just want to eat dinner, sit in front of a TV and smoke after a long day at work. But this stereotype did not arise by itself. Overloaded poor people have become an “easy prey” that the tobacco industry has hunted.
Tobacco companies have developed several strategies in order to create a link between cigarettes and the lifestyle of people with low incomes. They began to “flood” the areas where the lower class lived with advertisements and cheaper cigarettes. It is worth noting that a significant part of the hard work was accomplished by the class system of various countries. The point is that people with low incomes tend to be geographically grouped, and if you are all smokers in the neighborhood, you involuntarily will begin to smoke yourself.
2. Cigarettes for the Third World countries
When a lot of anti-smoking laws were passed in the developed countries, tobacco companies thought that there were a lot of poor people in the world, who lived in the countries with low medical awareness and quite corrupt governments.
After that, most major manufacturers paid their attention to millions of customers abroad. One of their most “successful victims” was Indonesia, which is currently the fifth largest cigarette market in the world. Why was it possible?
The answer is simple – due to children. Children, continuously smoking one cigarette after another, are quite common in Indonesia. Because of the national weak laws on cigarettes and international companies, cigarettes are massively sold to children and adolescents. In 2006 (no new statistical data have been provided since then, but this number has been growing continuously), 38 percent of Indonesian teenagers aged 13-15 years smoked.
3. The policy of scorched earth during court proceedings
It may seem that if tobacco companies are responsible for so many deaths and diseases, they must have been sued many times and the cigarette sales should be dropping continuously. The fact is that large tobacco manufacturers spend huge sums of money on hordes of lawyers.
First of all, the legal strategy is to “drag the lawsuit until the plaintiff dies.” In addition, tobacco companies pay a whole group of academics (who in fact do not even know anything about tobacco), so that they testify in their favor in courts. They also threaten expert witnesses (who really know a lot about tobacco) and intimidate them. Besides, for many decades they have been ordering pseudo-researches into the supposed fact that smoking may not harmful.
4. Lies about cigarettes
It turns out that there is such a thing as a “healthy” cigarette. Tobacco companies initially developed cigarettes with a lower tar content to deceive FDA-validated cigarette checkers. Some experts believe that cigarettes with “low tar content” are actually even worse for smokers due to this strategy.
Despite this evidence, tobacco companies continue to lie and understate the actual content of harmful substances in their products.
5. Appearance of e-cigarettes on the market
In the modern age of smartphones and other electronic gadgets, it would be amazing if people failed to try and create a “cigarette of the future” – an electronic cigarette.
But what is the result of it? Tobacco companies began to simply buy the companies producing electronic cigarettes or invent their own devices, monopolizing the market and continuing to make billions of dollars on traditional cigarettes.
But is everything so smooth with electronic cigarettes? Naturally, they are less harmful than plain cigarettes, but there is one fact that manufacturers keep silent about. The smoke of electronic cigarettes contains its own carcinogenic substances.
In addition, electronic cigarettes seem especially attractive to children and adolescents. This news is even worse, since many experts are afraid that smoking an electronic cigarette can cause no smaller addiction and trigger a switch to conventional cigarettes.