The crippled giant is looking for a place to hide, and we pray it finds it, six feet under. Business Week says the Philip Morris cigarette making operation is in a global race. Now escaped from under its former corporate umbrella, the Altria Group, the tobacco manufacturer is seeking to increase its international share of the cigarette market, while leaving Altria executives to worry about legal and other harassments in the USA.
We’re told that, with separation of Philip Morris International from Altria, the PM CEO Louis Camilleri is “in a mood to celebrate” because: “Instead of worrying about the slow death of the U.S. tobacco industry – spiraling taxes, smoking bans, and antismoking ads featuring body bags and black lungs – he could focus on new places to sell cigarettes from a sleek new operating base overlooking Switzerland’s Lake Geneva and the Alps of Savoie.”
This is comic. Does Camilleri think that because antismoking has encountered speed bumps in PM’s European base, Switzerland, that the colossal fanaticism has ceased to exist, there or anywhere? Has he blocked out of his mind what is going on all around the world? The “slow death” of Big Tobacco is just deserts for Big Tobacco. Death is final. The view around Lake Geneva is no doubt pleasant, but if it has instilled in Mister Camilleri a dream of resurrection, we suggest and strongly hope that he is wrong.
Camilleri is flailing his arms, ranting about making deals with antitobacco authorities, hoping the inexorable spread of hatred for him and his industry, generated by antitobacco, with long-standing and continuing acquiescence from the industry, will magically stop, somehow, sometime, or maybe just someplace. He is reaching for the same desperate dream of perpetual life in subservience to fanatics which Big Tobacco has grasped at for many years now. The Philip Morris company is and has been, amongst all the giants, the most egregious appeaser of all.
Big Tobacco has long been infinitely short-sighted, spectacularly foolish, and in a mental state of plain denial. Big Tobacco, in seeking to accommodate a very vicious prohibitionism, has long been an enemy to its customers even more than to itself. Smokers’ rights activists, including and especially Gian Turci, have recognized this for a very long time. Big Tobacco is a crippled giant. It is practically helpless and pathetically hopeless now. It is among the very greatest of all enemies to smokers. It is dying a slow death. Hooray.
Tobacco is a weed you can grow in a pot. Human beings have been enjoying tobacco worldwide for centuries. Big Tobacco bargained for its extinction. The rest is up to us, the human beings, who choose to smoke. Once this was a casual choice. Now it’s downright noble. Defy always and everywhere. Buy from discounters or grow your own. Survive the pogrom. Hate the Nazis. Fight back.