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  • The Believable Truth
    Somewhere between the plausable and the possible lies the believable...

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    The truth about tobacco...
    Posted under Op-Ed by Chris Ravlin ( on Sunday November 26 2000 @ 05:03PM CET

    I am constantly amazed by how far society has spiraled into a state of ignorance and irresponsibility. By now I should be used to it, but I am still surprised. What am I bitching about this time? Anti-tobacco campaigns and bizarre, heinous court decisions.

    Let me start by saying that I don't smoke. Okay, I smoke the occasional cigar (2-3 a year), but I do it with other people who are smoking cigars and I make sure we are either outside or in a place where cigar smoking is acceptable. I would go further in saying that I don't like smoking much at all. I feel that smoking in restaurants should be against the law, tobacco sales to minors should be against the law and public smoking should be confined to designated areas.

    Having made my position clear let me move on. The first group I want to talk about is this "Truth" group. I am sure you have all seen the commercials. These people want you to rip tobacco ads out of magazines, but only ones you own. Lets think about this a minute. You are an anti-tobacco advocate and own a magazine with a tobacco ad inside. You rip out the ad, removing it from the magazine along with whatever was on the other side of the page. You have paid money for this magazine, ripped out an ad that would not have worked on you anyway because you hate tobacco and now there is a section of the magazine missing that you may have wanted to read again in the future. The tobacco company has already paid for the ad; the magazine publisher has already cashed the check, what good have you done?

    The interesting point is that the "TRUTH" ads don't tell you to rip out the ads in just YOUR magazines until the end of the ad... and they are only saying that to cover their ass in case of lawsuits. What they are really telling you is to run around ripping tobacco ads from every magazine you can find, just don't blame us if you get caught. What a great message!

    "The Truth" group has a number of similar stupid messages all designed to incite you against the tobacco companies. I have nothing against such a campaign per se. Everybody is entitled to their opinion and can spend millions of dollars to express it if they desire. However, once you advocate vandalism, you have crossed the line.

    Recently, a lawsuit was won by a group of people against tobacco companies in the state of Florida. The decision awarded some 140 million dollars to people claiming to have been victimized by tobacco companies because their product is dangerous. No Shit! There is a freaking warning label on every pack of smokes! I am 36 years old and I cannot remember a time when there were no warning labels on cigarettes. That means that anyone who has been smoking for the past 36 years has no excuse. YOU WERE WARNED! THIS IS BAD AND MAY KILL YOU! If you decide to continue smoking, whose fault is it? If you are a smoker who is older than 36 years old, you have had ample time to quit. Millions of people have managed to quit smoking. If you don't have the willpower to stop doing something that may kill you, it is not the manufacturer's fault.

    I am a fat man. I have big bones, and thick muscle mass but I am still fat. Why am I fat? I do not eat properly and don't exercise enough. I know that chronic obesity is bad for me. Does that mean I should round up a couple hundred thousand other fat folk and sue Hostess for making tasty snacks? Of course not. Should al the alcoholics in the nation get together and sue the producers of alcohol? Don't be ridiculous.

    The federal government allows tobacco companies to produce a controlled substance. As such, they have mandated that these companies warn you that the product is dangerous. They have taxed the product heavily as if it were a luxury item and control who may purchase the product and where. The government has gone so far as to restrict in what types of media cigarettes can be advertised! I really do not understand why tobacco companies have been so aggressively targeted.

    The Florida decision MUST be overturned on appeal. If this lawsuit sticks, it will open the door for even more litigation from people who have no one to blame but themselves for using tobacco products. What will happen in the long run is the destruction of the tobacco business entirely. Before you say, "But that's the point!!", you should think about that result VERY carefully. Have you thought about the tens of thousands of people who will no longer have jobs as a result of such and event? Are they to be punished by unemployment because a bunch of weak willed Sallies can't stop smoking? I say NO!

    What is next? Tobacco companies fulfill a demand. If demand decreases to the point where profit is no longer feasible, then they will go out of business. The people have a right to smoke. Given that right, they know what they are getting themselves in to. SMOKING IS DANGEROUS. IT CAUSES MANY BAD DISEASES AND KILLS MILLIONS OF PEOPLE A YEAR. As a smoker, you have made your choice, live with it.

    Copyright 2000, Avery and Janet Glasser
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