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Big Tobacco: The Disproportionate Effect Tobacco On The Society (Essay Sample)


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Big Tobacco Azat Muhammedov Monroe College Abstract Big Tobacco is a creation of five global tobacco companies which are British American Tobacco (BAT), China Tobacco, Philip Morris International, Imperial Brands and Japan Tobacco International. These companies hold huge market shares in the international market. Through deceiving ways, they have successfully created an extremely large customer base. Unfortunately, this customer base is composed of the minority groups in the society such as the mentally ill, youths, low income earners among other racial and ethnic minority groups. Although the companies have a huge customer base, tobacco smoking has health harmful risks are lung cancer and eventually early deaths among others. This is a clear indication that the companies have managed to blind the consumers who prefer quenching their thirst for a puff to caring about the impending health harmful effects. This is as a result of the tobacco companies exploiting the desperate and un-informed minority groups in the society. Introduction Big Tobacco consists of the largest big five global tobacco companies and they are British American Tobacco (BAT), China Tobacco, Philip Morris International, Imperial Brands and Japan Tobacco International. These companies have more than 90% of the international cigarette market share producing more than 5,000 billion cigarettes annually CITATION aco18 \l 1033 (acosh, n.d.) which predicts a huge annual demand. However, tobacco is among the most health harmful products that have high chances of leading to the consumers’ death. In fact, research shows that it kills approximately half of its users per year CITATION aco18 \l 1033 (acosh, n.d.). With such health harmful effects, it is surprising how such a product still exists in the market and manages to attract a huge consumer base which is composed of the low income earners, minorities in the society, and at worst people with mental health complications among other socially disadvantaged groups in the society CITATION tru17 \l 1033 (truth initiative, 2017). Although a threat to a health existence of the society, Big Tobacco remains a market leader in production of cigarettes through deception methods that mostly attract the minority groups in the society. The disproportionate effect tobacco on the minority groups in the society Big Tobacco companies have also been giving free cigarettes to psychiatric facilities CITATION tru17 \l 1033 (truth initiative, 2017). Research shows that about 25% of people with mental health conditions are smokers and they consume approximately 40% of the cigarettes in the United States CITATION tru17 \l 1033 (truth initiative, 2017). Information on truth initiative website (2017) further compared smokers with mental challenges and smokers without mental challenges. It found out that, in every 3 mentally ill people 1 person is a smoker which translates to 33%. On the other hand, in every 5 people who are mentally fit 1 person is a smoker which translates to 20%. This is a clear indication that mentally ill people are indeed committed smokers (Prochaska et al., 2007). This has resulted to a good relationship between the Big tobacco companies and the psychiatric centers. The companies promote their cigarettes in these facilities through giving away free packets and also at times the facilities request for donations CITATION tru17 \l 1033 (truth initiative, 2017). Rather than helping the victims to quit smoking, the fact that Big Tobacco companies offer free cigarette donations shows how it is in the active process of ensuring they do not quit lest they lose their customer base. This is achieved through freely availing the cigarettes. The end result is early deaths since the mentally ill smokers have been found to die about 5 years earlier than mentally fit smokers. According to previous studies, mentally ill people are likely to recover from their mental health conditions if they quit stopping as a paramount part of their healing process CITATION tru17 \l 1033 (truth initiative, 2017). This implies that compared to those who do not quit, the ones who quit heal faster. Further, victims are likely to heal successively without relapsing if they quit smoking. However, the Big Tobacco companies spread propaganda that quitting smoking only worsens the condition of the mentally ill victim. This implies that victims should continue smoking since through self-sponsored misleading researches there are adverse dangers in quitting smoking CITATION tru17 \l 1033 (truth initiative, 2017). More information in truth initiative website (2017), reveals that the tobacco companies tend to block all the laid restrictions against smoking. Even in the mental health facilities, the companies encourage the victims to smoke when they are aware of the slow recovering process for a mentally ill victim. How ruthless! For ages, the company has been deceiving the public concerning the health dangers that accompany smoking CITATION Cle18 \l 1033 (ClearWay, n.d.). Information published in ClearWay website shows that the company has been using adverts that hide its awareness of the health dangers of cigarettes ranging from addiction, illnesses and early deaths, and promoting some cigarette products advertising them as harmless. Generally, they advertise cigarettes smoking as a way of bringing a relaxation mood and relieving stress. Through this socially injustice mechanism the company has targeted youths as the current generation smokers so that they can replace the quitting and the dying smokers. Therefore, the youth form a strong customer base for the company globally. It reaches them through hiding the dangers attached to smoking and devising ways of attracting and influencing them into smoking. For instance, using adverts that imply that smoking refreshes or feels cool and fail to advertise on the health risks. The young generation that falls in the company’s snares risks exposure to ill-healthy and addiction. Through hiding the true information on cigarettes the company ruthlessly exploits the young people through deceivingly influencing into them smoking. Big Tobacco has made its product more addictive through genetically engineering the tobacco plants to contain double the previous amount of nicotine CITATION tru181 \l 1033 (truth initiative, 2018). The manipulations made on the cigarettes were adding bronchodilators subsistence that eases the entry of smoke into the lungs, adding sugar and menthol levels in order to make inhaling of smoke easier and adding ammonia to make the travelling of nicotine to the brain faster CITATION tru181 \l 1033 (truth initiative, 2018). This implies that smokers are at the dangers of completely losing themselves into smoking. As noted earlier, the minority groups in the society form the largest proportion of the Big Tobacco consumers. Therefore, these cigarette “improvements” are made targeted the minority groups in the society. Unfortunately, the consumers are not informed of the production changes made. They blindly smoke, unaware of the changes in the composition of their cigarettes. How unfortunate! Any chances of them quitting smoking are ruthlessly grabbed and in most cases they may quit smoking in their graves since they are more exposed to deadly healthy effects. Tobacco funds researchers and researching institutes that c...
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