Tobacco companies get a bad rap, presumably because they make profits by giving people all sorts of cancer. This article probably isn’t going to help their case, since we’re talking about nothing but the horrible depths they’ve sunk to keep cancer profitable, but it sure is interesting.
10. Free Cigarettes For Soldiers
Smoking and the military have such a close relationship, the subject has its own Wikipedia page. Soldiers love themselves some tobacco-based produce. But have you ever wondered why? Well, it may have something to do with the fact that tobacco companies long ago realized that the military represented a huge potential market, full of highly-stressed individuals with many hours of downtime.
Realizing this, some tobacco companies lobbied to have cigarettes made a standard part of a soldier’s rations, which said tobacco companies gladly provided for free. Though this may seem nice on the surface, the move was an incredibly shrewd one since, although they did give away a lot of their stock for free, they ensured that soldiers would be hooked and buying their brand, long after they left the military.
9. Suppressing The World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is kind of a big deal when it comes to matters of world health. Obviously. The WHO is incredibly powerful and respected, and able to affect change on an almost-global scale.
And tobacco companies couldn’t care less about any of that jazz. In secret documents leaked to the WHO, it was revealed that several massive tobacco companies have been undermining the efforts of the WHO for years. The range and scope of the tactics used is pretty staggering, but in a nutshell, tobacco companies threw money at things that threatened their profits until they went away. The things they wanted to go away, by the by, were the people trying to cure cancer, which makes them the exact opposite of Bill Gates.
8. Trying To Take Down China
It’s a pretty safe assumption that China will eventually run the world; sorry, Beyonce. However, standing up to the ever-present Chinese menace is a lone hero: big tobacco companies. As reported by Reuters, tobacco companies in China have deliberately resisted raising their prices, and even infiltrated anti-smoking groups, to ensure that Chinese citizens remain hooked and in turn get all of the cancer.
If that’s not evil enough for you, they’ve also refused to put health warning on their packs. Then again, if people don’t realize that the things that taste like kissing an old person’s couch are bad for you, they probably don’t know how to read anyway. Thanks for giving us a fighting chance, tobacco!
7. Paying Scientists To Play Down The Link Between Smoking And Alzheimer’s
The list of diseases and physical maladies that smoking helps cause is so long, the physical exertion of writing them all down would give us early-onset arthritis, and who wants that? Suffice to say, it’s real real long.
However, one disease that has constantly emerged in the papers is Alzheimer’s. And yet, every now and again, a paper would emerge that suggested that smoking was somehow beneficial to people suffering from the condition. When someone actually investigated this claim, they found that every single person or scientist that had made such a claim had undisclosed links to the tobacco industry. Because of course they did.
6. Making Smoking Fashionable
Smoking is cool and everyone knows it, because there’s nothing cooler than having erectile dysfunction and smelly eyebrows. Back in the heyday of smoking, Lucky Strike Cigarettes noticed that sales of their brand were lagging. So they hired one Edward Bernays to help them. Bernays noticed that Lucky Strike’s packaging was an incredibly garish green color. Realizing that people are largely idiots, he concluded that the ugly color was the reason people weren’t smoking Luckies. When Lucky Strike refused to change their packaging, Bernays decided that he’d simply make green fashionable.
Which he did, by throwing a green-themed ball. When all the biggest movers and shakers of the day were pictured wearing green, sales of Lucky Strike brand cigarettes shot up, simply because green was now awesome, because pretty people were dressed in green one night. Again, people are idiots.