"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Capitalism at it's finest

and the imaginary 'Free Market'.

"The granting of loans and the allocation of aid by the World Bank and IMF (whose policies are formulated by the G8 governments) are invariably conditional on the recipient country "restructuring" its economy to provide the G8 countries' corporations with unrestricted access to its markets, resources and services." (1)

Cigarette companies are actively trying to kill their customers.

"Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company, in the late 1980s, thought they had a great idea. They teamed up with DNA Products, which is based in Oakland, California, to come up with a new product. The problem Brown & Williamson and the other tobacco companies were facing is that they were killing too many of their customers. 420,000 people a year were dying of lung cancer, instead of continuing to buy more cigarettes. The other problem they were having is the people were actually quitting smoking cigarettes. That's real bad for business. So they had a great idea: Let's genetically engineer tobacco so that it has seven times the level of nicotine contained in traditional tobacco, and let's smuggle this tobacco back into the United States from where we'll grow it in Brazil. And then let's surreptitiously put it, not into our high tar cigarettes, let's put it into the low tar cigarettes, so that the people trying to quit smoking won't be able to quit."


"A cigarette is a euphemism for a cleverly crafted product that delivers just the right amount of nicotine to keep its user addicted for life before killing the person." World Health Organization director-general Gro Harlem Brundtland

Recent polls indicate that, despite all accumulated knowledge on the subject of diseases caused by tobacco products, a shockingly high percentage of smokers continue to believe that their cigarettes will not cause them harm.

"The industry continues to aggressively pursue its agenda both with potential customers and with policymakers. The major cigarette companies increased their marketing and promotional expenditures to a record $11.22 billion – $30.7 million a day – in 2001, according to the annual Federal Trade Commission report on cigarette marketing and sales. This is an increase of 17 percent from the $9.59 billion spent in 2000 and a 66.6 percent increase in the first three years after the tobacco companies agreed to curtail some aspects of their marketing as part of the MSA. Only three states spend more than that in a year on prevention programs.

Industry advertising has shifted from print and outdoor advertising to retail outlets. The effectiveness of this strategy is palpable: about 65 percent of youth and 25 percent to 27 percent of adults report having seen tobacco ads within the past two weeks. Youth who have seen Philip Morris' “Think. Don't Smoke” campaign are actually more open to smoking than those who did not."


"Cigarettes and tobacco have become a leading cause of illness and death in developing countries, outpacing AIDS and placing a heavy burden on health systems.

More than 2.5 million people die in developing countries each year from illnesses related to tobacco consumption, roughly the same level as in developed countries, said Joy de Beyer, a World Bank economist.

This level of deaths is likely to rise to 7 million people a year within two decades, while tobacco-related deaths and illnesses will likely remain steady or decline in more developed societies, she said.

Among many other health-related causes of death in poorer countries "only in AIDS and tobacco are death rates rising", she told reporters in San Francisco at the launch of a new study on combating smoking in developing countries."


1. http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinion