The Deception Of The Tobacco Industry Essay

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The Deception Of The Tobacco Industry Essay, Research Paper The Deception of the Tobacco Industry The individual act of cigarette smoking offers no benefits to a person in any way. Its effects on health have been proven to cause any one of a variety of fatal diseases including lung cancer and heart diseases. Despite this reality, about 46 million adult men and women in the United States smoke cigarettes regularly. Through subliminal advertisements and propaganda, irrational desires are cleverly instilled in the minds of millions by callous cigarette companies; the targeted minds are mostly those of children. These selfish companies are clearly unconcerned about the well-being of humanity, and are more concerned about their profits than their clients health. Despite

overwhelming scientific evidence that their products kill 420,000 American smokers and 53,000 non-smokers each year, the tobacco industry continues to sell its life-threatening products, unhindered by any significant government regulation (Glantz xvii). This is achieved (by the industry) through strategically planned legal, political, and public relations tactics which are contrived in order to mislead the public and take the responsibility for causing death and disease away from the companies. Along with help from the government, the tobacco industry relies on the following in order to preserve its success: (1) the feigned controversy created by the industry on the effects of smoking, (2) the addictive properties of tobacco, and (3) marketing their product by associating it with

misleading images. Responses to the Health Effects of Cigarettes Americans have been smoking tobacco since before Columbus set sail in 1492. The habit has been practiced in areas of civilization for 500 years (Kluger xviii). Tobacco is a part of American history; it was grown by George Washington and engraved on the pillars inside the Capitol building by Thomas Jefferson (Taylor 7). Cigarettes became better popularized during the First World War and were even more successful during the Second. Tobacco smoking had always been suspected to be an unhealthy habit, but it was not until the twentieth century that connections between smoking and disease became more evident. In 1930 in the United States, 3,000 people died from lung cancer. By 1962, that number had increased to 41,000,

just as the number of cigarette smokers had increased between those years (Taylor 3). Over the first half of the century, the number of cancers in the smoking population went up in direct proportion to the number of cigarettes smoked per day (Hilts 3). In 1962, the concern about smoking and health grew large enough for something official to be done. At President John F. Kennedy s request, the Surgeon General, Luther Terry, had assembled a collection of the most distinguished scientists and doctors who had no public opinion on the issue (Hilts 30). After two years of research and experimentation, the Surgeon General released his report on smoking and health. It concluded: Cigarette smoking is causally related to lung cancer in men; the magnitude of the effect of cigarette smoking

far outweighs all other factors (qtd. in Glantz et al. 18). Furthermore, the report linked smoking to chronic bronchitis, coronary artery disease, cancer of the larynx, and cancer of the urinary bladder in men (Glantz et al. 18). The public knowledge about nicotine at that time, however, was not as extensive as that on disease. The report stated that The tobacco habit should be characterized as an habituation rather than an addiction. It was not until 24 years later (1988) that the Surgeon General (C. Everett Koop) concluded that Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addicting, that Nicotine is the drug in tobacco that causes the addiction, and that The pharmacologic and behavioral processes that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to