Monday, August 13, 2007

Smoke and Mirrors

As a result of the huge tobacco lawsuits of the late 1990s the nation’s largest tobacco companies agreed to pay 46 states $206 billion. The states were to pay for smoking prevention programs and defray the costs of smoking related health care.

A small percentage of this money has actually been used for anti-smoking programs. In North Carolina much of the millions they have received has been used for marketing and producing tobacco (the state’s biggest crop). The state has bought equipment for farmers, built a new tobacco auction hall, and help fund a new tobacco processing plant.

Other states have used the money to purchase stock—in tobacco companies.

—Source: Uncle John’s Unstoppable Bathroom Reader, 2003

PS: No wonder I felt such sympathy for Aaron Eckhart’s Nik Naylor, the tobacco company lobbyist in Thank You For Smoking. Watch the movie, it’s a breath of fresh air.

No comments: