Nix on Nicotine

Keywords: quit smoking, freedom from tobacco, anti-tobacco, smoking cessation, smoking deterrence, nicotine addiction

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vote With Your Feet

It occurred to me recently that, even though I don't buy tobacco products, I make regular contributions to the financial welfare of the tobacco companies when I buy non-tobacco products from companies owned or controlled by Big Tobacco.  So I did a little research, and found this excellent website:  On the list of tobacco-company owned products:  Wilson sporting goods, Oxygen snowboards, Montblanc pens, Chloe clothing and accessories, Bulova watches, most of the karat-gold jewelry sold at Wal-Mart, Miller beer, and a long list of others.  And of course, there are the food products (and so-called "food" products) sold under the brand names Kraft, Nabisco, Post, Oscar Meyer, and Louis Rich. 

Just in the catgory of food alone, the list of household names is staggering!  Miracle Whip.  Good Seasons.  Jello. Kool-Aid. Seven Seas. Country Time. Maxwell House. Sanka. Cool Whip. Cheez Whiz. Velveeta. Claussen pickles. Philadelphia cream cheese. DiGiorno sauces and pizza. Minute Rice. Altoids. Toblerone chocolate. Stove Top Stuffing. Capri Juice Drinks. Crystal Light. Tang. Knudsen jams and jellies. Sealtest dairy products. Breyer's ice cream. Alpha Bits. Grape Nuts.  Oreo cookies. All of these (and many more) are brought to you by the good folks at Big Tobacco!

Then another thing occurred to me.  I noticed how heavily-weighted the list is toward highly-processed and junk foods.  Foods that contain long lists of hard-to-pronounce ingredients.  Foods that contain high-fructose corn sweetener, trans fats, artificial flavors and colors, preservatives.  Foods with over-the-top amounts of salt, sugar, and fat.  Foods linked to diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and a multitude of other health concerns.

Big Tobacco is using similar strategies to promote junk foods and tobacco:  market to children and youth, load the products with high levels of unhealthy but addictive substances to keep the customers coming back, and create the (false) impression that the products are part of an all-American lifestyle.

Every time we spend a dollar, we cast a vote in favor of the product or service we're buying.  If we don't buy what Big Tobacco is selling, we vote against them and their ruthless strategies to sell us death and disease.  I'm voting with my feet now.

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