The indispensable Center for Media and Democracy featured a post on Wednesday on tobacco's marketing in the global south. It seems that at least one African nation, Nigeria, has had enough and is fighting back.
Nigeria's two largest states are following the lead of U.S. states, in suing British American Tobacco (BAT) of Nigeria, its U.K. parent company and Philip Morris International for the health care costs of treating sick smokers, The Times of London reported this week.
Some of the tobacco industry documents cited in the post are nothing short of shocking, displaying the type of callous disregard for human life that many like to believe are resigned to the history books.
Sadly, these tobacco documents describe a pretty stark reality.
Lastly, the [British American Tobacco] document acknowledges that "few, if any, [Nigerian] smokers have really taken the dangers of smoking on board." In other words, Nigeria is a particularly fertile market for marketing cigarettes because of widespread ignorance about the health hazards of smoking.
And in a stunning display of tobacco industry-style PR spin, just a day after announcing that
Even "moderate additional" greenhouse emissions are likely to push Earth past "critical tipping points" with "dangerous consequences for the planet,"
a NASA Administrator told NPR's Steve Inskeep
"I guess I would ask which human beings - where and when - are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take."
The fact is, the NASA administrator responsible for this quote, Michael Griffin, is essentially arguing the incredibly arrogant position that people today should act without any care for future generations. This is the same sort of arrogance that says it's okay to sell cigarettes to kids because they don't know they're deadly. It's the same sort of arrogance that says it's okay to destroy other people if they are inconvenient to your comfortable lifestyle.
It's arrogant, it's dishonest, and it's got to stop.