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Stanford Historian Exposes Tobacco Industry: Top 5 Common Myths about Tobacco

Tim Boyer's picture
Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolitio

Stanford Historian Professor Robert Proctor, a foe of the tobacco industry has a new 750-page book out that exposes the corruption and evils of the tobacco industry and how it affects mankind today and in the future. The book titled “Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition” is a comprehensive look at the abuses of the tobacco industry and how it is literally killing off America. A Stanford University news release provides a peek at the book by revealing Professor Proctor’s top 5 common myths about tobacco.

According to a Stanford University news release, historian Robert Proctor is a man whom the tobacco industry fears. Fear so much, that Professor Proctor has had to personally invest $50,000 in legal fees to fight off legal action by the tobacco industry to stop the creation and publication of his book.

Professor Proctor’s message is simple: the tobacco industry is killing American with cigarettes and using the most egregious methods to accomplish this result. In a news release, Professor Proctor states that cigarettes are "the deadliest artifact in the history of civilization" – more than bullets, more than atom bombs, more than traffic accidents or wars or heroin addiction combined. They are also among "the most carefully and most craftily devised small objects on the planet."

He also contends that smoking is not only claiming lives, but is significantly harming the environment. "When we finally decide to take seriously the problem of global climate change, cigarettes will come under increasing scrutiny. Tobacco agriculture and cigarette manufacturing have heavy carbon footprints – think deforestation and petrochemical pesticides – and cigarettes are leading causes of fires and industrial accidents. There's not much room for cigarettes in an environmentally conscious world," he says.

Part of the problem is making the public consciously and actively aware of the level of hazard smoking plays on life and how the tobacco industry is to blame. He believes that myths about tobacco and smoking have lulled the public into complacency.
A summary of the top 5 common myths about tobacco, smoking and the tobacco industry are as follows:

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Myth #1: Nobody smokes anymore—Professor Proctor says that this is an illusion and that the number of the poor who take up smoking are not included in reports on smoking. Furthermore, he points out that the popular trends of cigar and hookah smoking are just as dangerous as cigarette smoking.

Myth #2: The tobacco industry has turned over a new leaf—Professor Proctor points out that the tobacco industry has never admitted to wrong doing in spite of proof otherwise; and furthermore, that it is expanding to other nations with the same illegal practices it used in America.

Myth #3: Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you—In other parts of the world, increasing numbers of uninformed and impressionable children are taking up smoking. Professor Proctor adds that, "And how many people know that cigarettes contain radioactive isotopes, or cyanide, or free-basing agents like ammonia, added to juice up the potency of nicotine?"

Myth #4: Smokers like smoking, and so should be free to do it. And the industry has a right to manufacture cigarettes, even if defective—Professor Proctor points out that this is a play on the old “Give me liberty or give me death” mentality where liberty seems to be a natural choice with respect to freedom. However, he explains that this is a false sense of freedom as many smokers feel trapped by their addiction to smoking.

Myth #5: The tobacco industry is here to stay—As any corporate executive will tell you, growth is needed to ensure profits. And, as a result, foreign markets are lucrative in multiple ways. China he explains makes up 40% of the world’s cigarettes that are made and smoked. However, Professor Proctor believes that in time other nations will come to realize the disadvantage of future health costs related to smoking and disease, and that some of these foreign markets will eventually ban cigarettes.

Read further on this topic to hear about a recent study that shows that quitting smoking leads to a better quality of life and other benefits.

Reference: Stanford University News