Sunday, October 14, 2007

Big Tobacco Spends $10 Million To Defeat Children's Care

Big tobacco and other big business allies have already spent $10 million dollars in a propaganda campaign to defeat a proposal on the Oregon ballot that would increase taxes on cigarettes to pay for children's health care.

Philip Morris and Reynolds American have been the main pursestrings to flood the Oregon airwaves with ads that the OREGONIAN newspaper and other sources have attacked for misleading information or otherwise skirting the real issues at hand.

The ads paid for by Reynolds American for example attempted to reframe the debate on Measure 50 by misleadingly attempt to make the proposal look like some grand scheme of the health care industry and doctors to profit from children's illnesses, when it is in fact cigarettes that cause children many serious and life-threatening health problems including SIDS, respiratory problems such as asthma, and painful and unnecessary ear infections in children, often requiring painful and expensive ear tube surgery. It is an outrageous lie of the tobacco industry to attempt to blame doctors who treat a child dying of a serious asthma attack in a hospital emergency room when it is the products produced by Reynolds American or Philip Morris that caused the life-threatening health crisis for the child to begin with.

But this type of gutter politics is nothing new for this industry which has been accused of manipulating nicotine levels to make their cigarettes more addictive and the refusal to remove lead, nickel, cadmium or 4,000 toxins from their products, or the refusal to make their products not harmful to nonusers.

Taxes against big tobacco to discourage cigarette use are only a timid first step. Full regulation of cigarettes by the FDA and the EPA to regulate the illegal air pollution created by cigarettes are the next step. Victim nonusers of cigarettes also need to sue this industry out of business for wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits all across the U.S. Nonsmokers need to sue this industry to clean up the health problems caused them that the tobacco industry will not address because government regulators are way too slow to act. Almost immediuately children's toys with lead in the paint are pulled off the market, and the oil industry long removed lead from gasoiline as a valve lubricant, but the tobacco industry has never made any attempt to remove lead or other toxins from their cigarettes. The time has come for a government crackdown on these illegal air pullution devices that clearly violate hundreds of EPA rules regarding industrial air pollution.


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