Cigarette Companies Versus the Government

by barbarab

Will the law forcing cigarette manufacturers result in a reality similar to that which George Orwell depicted in his book "1984?"

The Law for Cigarette Manufacturers Goes Into Effect in the Fall of 2012

Manufacturers of Cigarettes are Suing for Their Rights Now

Cigarettes are deadly

This you know


But wose fault is it

When you go?


Are the cigarette companies

The reason you lungs turned black?


Or was it your choice

To smoke and never turn back?


If smoking will kill you

Sooner rather than later


Yet smoking you do

Without a thought of the morrow


Should not the manufacturers'

Be allowed to go on with their lives


Even though the people there

Even if themselves never touch or enjoy a drag?


Should they be held responsible

And forced to admit the naked truth


In print as a warning to all

Yes and even urge them to quit?


Will George Orwell turn from his grave

And look back to say "I tried to warn them they would rue the day"


What will be the result of the law

Will it stop with cigarettes or will it encompass all?


If by writing this poem

the author has swayed your mind


Is that a cause

to end this rhyme?


If this law is allowed to go forth as is

Will the country evolve into a place


Known by all as one without

The freedom to decide how they shoul live?

If you ever smoked what caused your decision to quit?

The Time Has Come For Cigarette Manufacturers to Print Explicit Warning Labels

If a person has been born, say, in just the last two decades, all this hoopla over the "explicit" cigarette warnings may cause feelings of sympathy towards the cigarette companies. The desire to yell "Foul" may be overwhelming if one is unaware of the history of tobacco, the increased health technology, the research of risks related to cigarettes right down to what the cigarette companies can expect from this law. 

It could be that everyone, young and old, believes that America is the only country in the world to have this law imposed upon him or her. The cigarette companies are not saying that they have had restrictions placed upon their marketing abilities since 1964. The cigarette companies do not make public what they have had to do in other countries for over four decades regarding warning labels and explicit images on their products. The government tells no one but the farmers that they pay them to grow tobacco. In fact, if tobacco does not sell at the market for over a penney of what the government demands as their "cut" that tobacco cannot even be sold! It has to be stored and saved until the next year! Who, other than the growers and buyers, are really aware of that information?

Is the American public truly aware of all that cigarette companies control? The enormous finger of these companies is truly frightening. If Americans were aware of and wanted to boycott all that cigarette companies own, give money to, support and own it might be impossible. The power that cigarette companies weild is stronger than any force, even the government itself.

Stronger than the government itself? Then why are the cigarette companies even suing the government? Why don't they just go in the white house and "make'em an offer they can't refuse?"

Perhaps the answer does lie in George Orwell's book, "1984."  Except that the face of the government is just that; a face. The true power comes from the companies themselves. If they stay behind the scenes they have more control and none of the responsibility, none of the actual work, none of the spotlight shining on them.  In other words, all this suing and crying about their fundamental constitutional fights is all for the camera; it's a fake.

What is the truth?

The Truth About Warning Labels

Poor things, they may lose money? Really...Really?

The Surgeon General in 1964 was instrumental in mandating the first warning labels for all cigarette packs. This was not only one label; it was a set of four different warnings and the manufacturers had to rotate them so all packs were evenly divided. 

This negates the cry of the manufacturers that it will cost them extra money to rotate the nine different warnings as the machines used to rotate the warnings are already in place.

The amount of employees will drop. All manufacturing for every cigarette is completely automated. A machine does absolutely everything.

Manufacturers will no longer support the government. And not having a big company involved in politics would be a bad thing; why?

Amazingly enough, America is not the first country to pass a law for explicit images and graphic warnings on packs. In fact, America is over eleven years behind over thirty-seven other countries. Also, becaue the portion of the European Union contains eighteen separate countries that number is nearly sixty! Brazil was the second country in the world to post grapic warnings on all packs. All of the countries mandate that at least 50% of every pack show the warnings and images. Some of the images are more than grapic, they are horrifying. One image is of a dead newborn baby, umbilical cord attached, lying next to half smoked cigarettes.

Will warning labels and graphic images decrease the number of smokers? Let's look at the past to find the answer.

In 1900 research by Brosch showed that cigarettes caused cancer in guinea pigs. Also in 1900 fours states outlawed the product altogether.

However in 1904 the "first laboratory synthesis of nicotine" was made an touted as medical breakthrough. The pendulum swings again in 1907 when many businesses refused to hire anyone who smoked.

However, smoking gained popularity again in 1910 with the addition of baseball cards in all the packs. So it goes, back and forth throughout the twentieth century. Along the way, cigarette companies began buying up non cigarette companies.

In fact, hundreds if not more food industries are now owned by the tobacco industry. Trying to boycott even a small percentage of their holdings would be like moving a mountain one teaspoon at a time. The companies are making so much money, billions of dollars, it is nearly obscene. Now that is something the companies work hard at keeping private!

What is the answer?

Continuing to talk, write, show what the act of smoking will cause. People must continue to make their own decisions. Attempting to force or coerce a person to do something against their will has never worked and never will work. 

Will changing the packaging change the world, decrease deaths, cancers or birth defects that can be traced to smoking? 

How about we just try? 

Updated: 08/17/2011, barbarab
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barbarab on 08/18/2011

the thing that may me so angry was finding out farmers are paid by the government to grow tobacco and that the money for it is more enticing than what they get for food!
and yes, kids smoke still but I know when I was young I was positive I was immortal...nothing could touch me...

sheilamarie on 08/18/2011

I find it chilling that young people even today with all we know about the harmful effects are still choosing to smoke. I've noticed more and more kids and twenty-somethings smoking. Advertising, perhaps? I've been told that the cigarette companies are making their products more addictive -- all they need to do is hook them young and they'll have a greedy customer for life, albeit a short life.
Happynutritionist, don't you think there could be some help somewhere to transition tobacco farmers to a more health-conscious crop? I understand that few crops can compete economically with tobacco, but there must be something they could grow that would benefit rather than put a drain on society.

barbarab on 08/18/2011

me fact the first shift with with RN after my name..that was in '76...stopped in '97..took wellbutrin (zyban) and it turned it off inside my head with the FIRST pill I swallowed..well OK choked on...Dr D Hamiltion threw the first one in my mouth :) what a great guy...on the other hand the same med didnt do a thing for hubby and he quit cold turkey...
one of the articles I used for research says the same thing you did..that its "worse than heroin" then went on to debunk that statement...tell you one thing for me..sugar is worse than any vice I have ever seen or done!
whatever you decide know that this mean ole nurse will keep hoping and praying you can stop!!

happynutritionist on 08/18/2011

I am so thankful for friends who told me that cigarettes didn't suit me...while they puffed away...when I was young. I haven't smoked since. When driving by tobacco fields in our travels, as much as I wish the whole smoking thing never got started, I feel for the workers that are affected by the decrease in smoking.

T_Harmon_Art on 08/18/2011

Fascinating article and I believe very true. Unfortunately, I am a smoker and loathe the day I started smoking. Why did I even start? I was so shy as a teen that I took up smoking at age 18 to have something to do while I sat among people I didn't know. It helped me to feel like I wasn't just a bump on a log. I knew cigarettes were bad for you, but not to its true extent. Now, I do not have the willpower to quit despite all I've learned over the years and despite the new explicit warnings that will be adorning my future cigarette packs. It is an addiction akin to heroine. Some people can kick the habit without a moment's thought while others, like me, just can't. I hate that they have such a hold on me and I hate that I'm helping to support big corporations who do not have the interest of people in mind, rather big dollar signs. Such is the country we live in. It angers me and frustrates me. Great article worth talking and thinking about....

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