Extinguishing the last combustible cigarette
Michael R. Hufford & Gilbert Ross | 3 August 2014
Today approximately 14,000 people will die of tobacco-related diseases around the world. The same thing will happen tomorrow and the day after that, leaving nearly 6 million dead in the coming year. Despite this public health disaster, the uncomfortable truth is that mind-altering drugs, from alcohol to nicotine to caffeine, are here to stay. When it comes to smoking, our addiction has proven too much to overcome:
- too strong at the individual level, by the smoker who will fail 95% of the time in their attempts to quit;
- too strong at governmental levels, who have grown too dependent on cigarette taxes and Master Settlement transfer payments to responsibly consider public health; and
- too strong at the societal level, by investors’ addiction to tobacco companies’ profits and their reliable dividends.