Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Repulsive Business by B.A.T.

It is dreadful what companies like BAT, British American Tobacco Company do to make exceedingly large profits.

We saw a documentary recently on BBC TV about Africa and how BAT was especially targeting African countries particularly Nigeria, Malawi and Mauritius.

In the program we saw how poor people were, that every day they did not know where their food was coming from.

Yet they were so hooked on smoking that they would part with their money for a cigarette or two or three if they had a good days work.

We saw little boys some still at school selling to their classmates and at the end of the day they would smoke the cigarettes they had earned that day.

Most sales were single cigarettes which were against WHO, World Health Organisation, guidelines.

They were widely advertising the sale of single cigarettes also forbidden by the WHO.

Tobacco kills hunger pangs but can not stop you from suffering from malnutrition and it can
give you terminal cancer.

The other horrible thing was BAT would organise a lot of music events where they gave away cigarettes and things like rucksacks and baseball hats and sweat shirts and other things all with the company logo.

Everyone wanted these wonderful gifts and the music events we saw were full of underage kids also against WHO guidelines.

It was seen as cool to go to one of these events and there was usually a sweepstake where one person won lots of money and boxes of cigarettes.

We saw such a happy winner, he and his wife were the envy of all the others who did not win, he won a lot of money and a lifetimes supply of cigarettes.

After seeing the poverty in Africa the program cut to a BAT Shareholders Meeting where all the fat cats had gathered to gloat over their fine profits.

British businessman Duncan Bannatyne (anti smoking), the man who put up the money and made the program,, who makes his money out of Fitness Clubs and Care Homes, tried to tell them about the plight of the people in Africa.

Read story on BBC site:

They were not interested and one by one left the meeting refusing to comment on making profits out of other people’s misery.

Ken Clark is a prominent member of the Board of BAT, he was Chancellor in Thatcher’s govt and now in Cameron’s Shadow Government.

He like the rest of the shareholders were disinterested in the fact that their product caused misery and death to many around the globe.

They did not care as long as they made exceedingly large profits.

The fact that random chance can compromise your health is one thing but to have fat cats

sitting in Boardrooms cynically planning to compromise the health of many in their attempt to make money at all costs is repulsive.

I was inspired to write this after reading an anti tobacco post 31st MAY----WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY on Joseph’s blog here is the link and you can go to his blog:

Life in Motion.

Duncan Bannatyne described BAT as "the unacceptable face of British Business".

Bannatyne takes on Big Tobacco: This World is broadcast on Tuesday 1 July on BBC TWO at 2100BST.


CrazyCris said...

Argh!!! Tobacco just drives me nuts!

I thought things would change here in Spain when they finally got around to creating an anti-tobacco in public places law... but it's so badly enforced that it's practically useless!

Then there's my mom... you can't even bug her about her smoking any more, she just gets all flustery and pretty pissed off! (we've tried to get her to quit for as long as I can remember) The ironic thing is she complains about having trouble balancing the monthly budget and chides my Dad for spending money in the cinema... and then spends 10 times as much on cigarrettes each month! If only those damn smoke sticks weren't so addictive... I cringe each time one of my friends has said they only smoke "one, from time to time". Riiiiight! That's just the first step down a slippery-slope... Stupid moves by otherwise highly intelligent people. I can understand it with people who got hooked a while back, before they knew just how bad tobacco was... but in this day and age?! How is it that some people are stupid enough to get started?!?!?!

oops... I seem to have gone on a rant here! Sorry! But thx for writing a post that gave me a space to vent! ;o)

Herrad said...

Hi CrazyCris,

Thanks for coming by brilliant especially as I like your attitude and your blog.

Hope you feel free to come by and rant whenever you feel to.

Have a great day.
ps use this blog the most.

Anonymous said...

Hi Herrad! All I can say is that I HATE cigarettes. I HATE tobacco firms and I HATE that there is some kind of politics (i.e. gov. money) that helps it along. It's atrocious that they are doing that in Africa.

Gosh, this feels out of place in this comment form, but I do have a Lemonade award for you on my blog of today!

Herrad said...

Hi Rain,

Thanks for your comment great to get your rant brilliant!


Lille Diane said...

I quit this past December.... I had quit for 17 years before I picked them back up about 6 years ago. It is addictive. It doesn't make sense why people (me included in a HUGE way) smoke period. Sometimes life gets tough and we do what we do to temporarily feel better. In the long run, my health, my finances, my self loathing for smoking, add on 2980 more pounds of guilt for stopping then starting again, the time invested in trying to remove smoke odors so my family, my friends, work colleagues, etc., couldn't smell the smoke on me made me crazy. It is the hardest thing to quit. Oh it is an evil substance, and the tobacco companies apparently do not care about young people of any race let alone me...or anyone period.

Thank you for listening and sharing this story, Herrad.

Richie said...

In Glasgow all my friends smoked. Most started at about ten years old. I saw even younger kids smoking expertly.
I do not see what the moral difference is between tobacco trading and heroin dealing. Ken Clark has a total moral blind spot and sees himself as a decent man: in fact he is a monster!
I have seen too many lives blighted by nicotine addiction and lung disease. The tobacco industry form a foul drugs cartel that should be broken up.

Anonymous said...

Hee hee, thanks! That was the edited version. When I get on a rant, sometimes I can talk for a long time, wiggling my finger and moving my head around like I'm "all that". LOL

Herrad said...

Hi Lille Diane,

I smoked from 1968 to 1999 when I stopped when my packet of tobacco was finished.

Was a difficult 6 weeks then it was great being free of the tobacco.

Hi Richie,

I totally agree with you tobacco companies and alchohol suppliers are both drug dealers.
It is strange it is not seen in the way.
Must be well connected and earn the govt too much revenue.

Hi Rain,

AYou rant as much as you need to it is good for you.
Better out than in.


Kris said...

great post! I agree. Tobacco is a conspiracy!

Herrad said...

Hi Kris,

Thanks for coming by, you are right it is a conspiracy.



Anonymous said...

You know what? I was watching an episode of The Simpsons today. This show is so great at making fun of everyone! So Krusty the Klown (if you don't know the show) is a sleazy corporate sellout type of showbiz clown. So his crownies tell him that he needs to "go green" and he invents a veggie burger for his fast food chain...Herrad this IS going somewhere, ha ha! So...Krusty says "yeah, that sounds good, add some nicotine to the ingredients to get the kids hooked"...I laughed really hard but I often wonder if this kind of humour is based on reality???

Chloe said...

Smoking makes me so mad. I have never smoked - and don't feel sorry for people who get ill where the cause was smoking. It's your choice. There is nothing positive about smoking what so ever. Thankfully in Florida - it is illegal to smoke in bars/resturants which is great. And the govenor stuck anohter $1 tax per pack.

Check out the movie 'thank you for smoking' - it's a pretty good 'mockumentry' of the tobacco industry.

Ok - off my soap box! ;)


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Herrad:)

In Kerala, the govt. has banned smoking in public but it is hardly enforced. You will find people smoking nonchalantly in public. There are innumerable petty shops selling cigarettes. Many school going children smoke cigarettes out of their pocket money. First, it starts as a prestige symbol and then it becomes an addiction.

I wouldn't entirely blame the big companies for the malady. After all they are in business to make money. Manufacturing and selling cigarettes is an easy way to boost up their profits.But these companies are immoral and unethical in the sense they are selling sickness and suffering to people. They can do some other business and make profits but they will not.

Ofcourse, they are tobacco growers and small farmers who grow tobacco for their lively hood. They and their children will starve if they cannot grow tobacco.

So, I would say that the government is solely responsible for the evil. They can introduce a law banning cigarette selling altogether. I don't think that is possible because they will be annoying the people who smoke and the people who smoke are more in number than people who don't smoke. Therefore, introduction of any drastic law against smoking and strict implementation means that the government will be voted out of power. Who wants to be out of power? Being in the government means making money. I am not talking of the few exceptions. They are always a minority.

In other words, the government which is supposed to take care of the welfare of the people turns a blind eye to the evils of smoking and is happy to introduce some ineffective laws which are not seriously enforced.

The government, if it is serious, can also provided alternate means of employment to tobacco farmers.

Besides,very few non smokers will object to a person smoking next to them out of courtesy and politeness and decency. Sometimes objections can result in quarrels. So non smokers suffer in silence.

I am looking for an answer Herrad but I can't find it. In the meanwhile millions will continue to suffer and die a miserable death. OH! What about the expenses involved in treating people suffering from tobacco related sicknesses? Most of these suffering people belong to the poorer sections of the society!

I enjoyed reading your very informative post. Even if a few people understand the seriousness of tobacco smoking on account of your well written post and give up smoking, you have done a great job.

Have a nice day Herrad:)

Jase said...

I probably have no right commenting here because I smoke and I enjoy smoking.
I do, however, think that targeting a group of people who have no food in their bellies is a disgusting, and clearly, profit motivated act.
It kind of reminds me of the Nestle actions with the baby formula.

CrazyCris said...

Hi Herrad! Glad to know this is the blog to stop by... you've got so many it was hard to figure out which one to go to! :p

I think peer pressure and contraryness is a big reason many teenagers start... I know my mon started smoking as a teenager in the 60s just because my grandfather said "women don't smoke" and she was like "oh really? we'll see about that!". Lovely Spain under Franco... great atmosphere... my mom couldn't go to college (although she got a scholarship) because my grandfather said "higher education isn't for women" (but you can be sure he was prouder of his grand-daughters than his grandsons who all had problems finishing high school whereas all the girls have graduated from college).

40 years... a world away!

I think in another generation smoking will go the way of the dodo. I hope.

Anonymous said...

Targeting such communities is disgusting. I've read Joseph's entry and always find interesting information at his blog address.