Tobacco has long been one of the most controversial subjects, both in the USA and elsewhere in the world. Not too long ago, smoking was seen as an ‘in’ thing to do; it was actively encouraged, promoted in films and on television, and advertising gave it a glamorous and often macho appeal – who can ever forget, for example, the iconic Marlboro Cowboy, and image very much of its time?
So, why is vaping – the healthy way of getting that kick – not killing the cigarette industry? Power and money: the tobacco giants are undoubtedly scared of the mechanical vape alternative, primarily because it is the only genuine alternative, and the only threat to their dominance in the market that they have experienced. The problem is, the big tobacco companies are all-powerful, very rich, and much bigger than the companies that are pioneering vaping, and they have even gone as far as buying out smaller, struggling vaping companies, simply to get them off the market.
Of course, we are now only too aware of the health implications of smoking tobacco; advertising is routinely banned, yet the big tobacco companies still turn over billions of dollars in profit every year. Indeed, despite it being banned in many public places, and frowned upon socially, smoking has not gone away, and remains popular with millions of people. Modern alternatives, such as vaping – which we will come to in a moment – are preferable, both for the health of the user and those around them, but the problem is this: the tobacco giants have too much power and influence.
Fighting the Tobacco Giants
Let’s get one fact out of the way: there is absolutely no doubt that cigarettes cause cancer. There has been so much research into the subject over the years, by so many respected professionals, that it cannot be doubted. This is, after all, why cigarette advertising has disappeared from world sporting arenas, where it was once a primary source of sponsorship. So, how are the tobacco companies still in business?
The fact is they cannot afford not to be, as they still have a massive customer base worldwide. They also wield a great deal of influence over important people in US government circles, and elsewhere in the world. Senators of the big tobacco producing states – bear in mind that North Carolina, Kentucky and Georgia combined provide 80% of the total production in the USA – have been in receipt of many hundreds of thousands of dollars in support over the years, so they have a vested interest in keeping the tobacco industry alive. They have also used their power and influence to lobby for stricter regulations on vaping, the safe alternative.
A Safe and Viable Alternative
What is curious is that, despite the knowledge that tobacco kills, people still smoke while a viable, and safer, alternative exists: this is vaping, and here’s how it works. Vapers use an e-cigarette, a small and quite stylish device that, instead of burning tobacco, uses a tiny electric heater to turn a liquid into vapour. This is what is inhaled, and there is no smoke involved at all. You can buy the liquid in many different flavours, so you can change your taste whenever you want, and you are not endangering yourself or those around you.
It is clear, then, that despite being aware of the health risks of the product they promote – by stealth or otherwise – the big tobacco companies continue to sell such products, whereas they could in fact be investing in vaping technology and encouraging smokers to change their habits. They won’t, of course, because as our title says, they are morally bankrupt organisations, living in the past, and relying on other morally bankrupt people in the corridors of power to keep them afloat.