tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.


How Tobacco Firms Woo Smokers

“Tobacco is the only legally available consumer product that kills people when it is entirely used as intended,” says the Oxford Medical Companion, 1994.

After decades of consistent denial that smoking causes cancer, the tobacco industry has changed its tune and officially admitted that this is true.

Anti-tobacco experts attributed this about-face to the increasing number of lawsuits that are being filed - and won - against the tobacco industry.

“It is a case of bend with the wind or be broken. By positioning themselves as reasonable before the Government and the public, they hope to get into the boat and steer it away from stricter health and consumer laws,” said Yussuf Salooje, the former head of South Africa’s National Council Against Smoking.

Consume and Die; Period

Tobacco kills eight persons around the world every minute.

By 2030, the figure will be 20 persons per minute, with most of these deaths taking place in the developing world.

As tobacco advertising expert Simon Chapman clearly put it, “We are looking at something that is absolutely apocalyptic for public health.”

The tobacco industry has cleverly gone beyond a merely defensive cam-Marlboro Man: From the Wild campaign to one which is positive and West to the Far East pro-cigarettes.

Other industry tactics include creating doubt without actually denying medical evidence linking smoking and cancer, philanthropy to buy friends and social respectability, and using trade agreements, bribery and lobbying to force entry into closed markets.

The tobacco industry has also used its slick promotional skills to perfect a “customised” approach to marketing products and brands by identifying and “hunting” segments of population, including the women, teens and children of the developing world.

Unfortunately, many developing countries provide a conducive atmosphere for tobacco companies to test their latest insidious tactics to get around strict legislation in developed countries.

Each year, more than five million people around the world die from tobacco-related illnesses.

Tactful Smoke Screens

Aggressive marketing by tobacco companies has contributed to the rise in new smokers.

Tobacco companies spend in excess of $5b a year on marketing and promotion in the US.

Targeting women and youth, cigarette advertisements directly associate smoking with being slim.

These are being specifically targeted by tobacco companies, and face particular health risks.

Cigarettes are also advertised as ‘light,’ ‘low smoke’ and ‘less smell,’ in the attempt to change negative perceptions on smoking.

In Uganda, while still waiting for the National Environment Management Authority and the Police to enforce the Control of Smoking in Public Places legislation enacted in 2004, the vulnerable tobacco consumer needs to have an overview of the tobacco industry tactics and their corresponding goals -

- Intelligence Gathering - Monitor opponents and social trends to anticipate future challenges

- Public Relations - Mold public opinion using the media to promote pro-industry positions

- Political Funding - Use donations to win votes and legislative favours from politicians

- Lobbying - Cut deals and influence political process

- Consultancy Programmes - Produce “independent” experts critical of tobacco control measures

- Smokers’ Rights Groups - Create impressions of spontaneous, grassroots public support

- Creating Alliances - Mobilise farmers, retailers and advertising agencies to influence legislation

- Intimidation - Use legal and economic power to harass and frighten opponents

- Philanthropy - Buy friends and social respectability - from arts, sports and cultural groups

- Litigation - Challenge laws

- Bribery - Corrupt the political system and allow industry to bypass laws

- Smuggling - Undermine tobacco excise tax policies and increase profits

- International Treaties - Use trade agreements to force entry into closed markets
© Copyright: Allafrica

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1 comment to How Tobacco Firms Woo Smokers

  • Daniel

    wow - now thats a one sided argument if i ever saw one…

    If you want to lay out the argument like you have above about smoking please apply it it other \’legal drugs\’ that use very very similar tactics for example the alcohol industry.

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