The Face, of Evil.

If someone willfully, maliciously, intentionally, and repeatedly deceives, injures, and murders others, we would know them to be evil.  Yet we fail to apply the same rules to corporations as we do to people. We must change our thinking.

Judged by any human standard, the Tobacco Industry is the personification of an Evil Empire. As with all such entities, there are two classes of people. People who support it, and people who are subjugated and victimized by it. This holds true for the tobacco industry. Those who profit from tobacco support it, therefore they are the pawns of evil. Those who use tobacco products, are its subjugated victims.

You don’t like what you’re reading?

Interestingly enough, I didn’t much enjoy writing this post. I know it won’t make me any friends, however these are truths that need to be told.  If you don’t want to believe me, I understand fully, I didn’t want to believe these facts either.  Sadly, that is precisely what forms the basis of this post. Indisputable facts.  Yes, I wrap the facts in my passion, but they are still facts.  Verify them for yourself by clicking on the links throughout the article, or even better do your own research.

You have a choice to make. You can choose to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear and walk away. Just stop reading. But before you do, remember that “All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.

Still here? Thank you. I believe you are taking a stance for good.  After reading this post, whether you agree or not, you will have another view of tobacco to consider. Though my thoughts will likely be painful to read, they are plain truths as I see them.

This post is far longer than I like, likely because it has been hovering in my heart for decades. For that reason I’ve tried to structure it into sections. While I don’t expect you to agree with me, I hope my insights provide you with food for thought.

Tobacco Kills. Period.

Tobacco kills. Period. You can’t argue with that statement. It is an indisputable fact.

Indeed many of the male models used to sell how macho smoking is to a gullible public have died directly as a result of smoking. Don’t want to believe me, think that’s just an urban legend? Consider the “Marlboro Man”.  Need more evidence?  Do a little research of your own, the evidence is everywhere. Now, perhaps you’re mumbling some nonsense like, “Well that’s just a few overpaid actors, why should I care?” You should care because tobacco directly affects you, regardless of whether you use tobacco products or not. Every passing day tobacco injures and kills people who use it. You undoubtedly know, or knew, some of its victims.

Within the USA alone tobacco kills an astounding 443,000 each year.  Let me put that number in perspective.  I live in Columbus, Ohio, it is the 15th largest city in the USA.  Its estimated 2013 population was 822,553.  Columbus is a large, sprawling city covering 223.11 square miles (562.47 square kilometers for the metricated).  It takes the tobacco industry less than two years to systematically murder every single person in Columbus.

{Edit. Still not appalled by the gravity of this situation?  How about these additional facts, which you can verify on the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ official website. One in five deaths in the USA are caused by tobacco.  The number of deaths has increased from 443,000, reported above, to 480,000 annually within the USA alone!! In countries such as China, where tobacco is still advertised as containing magical, mystical, beneficial properties it in no way possesses, the death toll is likely a far higher percentage of total annual deaths.  But lets keep things simple by assuming the same percentage.  This means a conservative estimate of tobacco related murders in China is an astonishing  one and a half million people every single year!}

So, whether you realize it or not, whether you want to believe it or not, you are already one of tobacco’s victims.

But you know what? Even if by some statistical impossibility you aren’t directly or indirectly affected by tobacco, you should still care. Why? Because caring about the impact of evil is something moral people do.

The wrong words.

Words and the way we use them are crucially important. Words can reveal deep, meaningful truths. Words can obscure vicious lies. The wrong words, are wrong. The Tobacco Industry is masterful in its use of wrong words. Their lies, both implicit and explicit, have tricked billions of people into becoming drug addicts. Their lies have directly caused the deaths of literally hundreds of millions of people. All of the wars combined, throughout recorded history, don’t approach the number of deaths directly caused by the tobacco industry. Consider that.

I am sympathetic to the victims of the tobacco industry, as I believe we all should be. However, those victims need to look at themselves and realize that the words they use to describe their behaviors are deceitful. It is so easy to deceive ourselves, isn’t it?

Tobacco users are addicts. Addicts don’t “choose to keep using”. Addicts don’t “have a habit”. Addicts are controlled by their addiction. Addicts have no freedom of choice. Addicts are under the control of their drug dealers.

People who manage to break their addition are not “quitters”, and they haven’t “given up”.  “Quit” and “Give up” have significant negative connotations – they apply to losers.  So why do we apply them to former tobacco users, who are true winners.  Society needs to stop using these cleverly planted, promoted, and misleading statements with truths.

Perhaps most important of all, addicts are victims. If you use tobacco products, you’re an addict, and you’re also a victim of the tobacco industry. Stop deceiving yourself. Stop thinking in terms of “habit”, and embrace the reality of your addiction. Stop blaming yourself for your lack of willpower, addiction isn’t about willpower at all. Addiction is an insidious evil thing. You are a victim of unscrupulous, misleading marketing that surrounds smoking in a cloak of glamor it doesn’t possess. The tobacco industry hooked you on drugs, that makes them criminals, and you their victim. Acknowledge that you are a drug addict. Realize how pathetic it is to lie to yourself about your ability to kick the “habit”, if only you wanted to. You think you can, but until you do you can’t.

Society needs to stop thinking of tobacco users as anything other than they are, namely victims. If people don’t acknowledge tobacco users have a problem, what incentive is there to remedy it? People consistently using the wrong words lets the tobacco industry and its users hide behind shadowy mistruths perpetrated by the evil empire.

The right words.

Murder.  When a death is deliberately and callously caused, the right word is murder.

Addict. When someone has a physical and psychological dependence on a drug, they don’t have a habit, they have an addiction.  The right word is not habit, it is addiction.

Victim.  Those injured by others are victims. Victims should never be the subject of blame.  The right word is not choice, it is victim.

Overcome. When you manage to defeat overwhelming odds you overcome. When you win and defeat your addiction, you have overcome, you haven’t quit.

Evil. There are forces of good and evil, and their reins are held by men.  Never make exemptions for evil behavior.  Call something vile, something vile.  The right words are not tobacco industry, they are Evil Empire.

The Pawns of the Evil Empire.

With my premise set, let me now ensure that the pawns of evil know that we know who they are. The pawns of evil are those who profit from the tobacco industry. If you work for a tobacco company, invest in a tobacco company, sell tobacco “products”, pass laws to protect tobacco companies, or do anything that in any way supports the tobacco industry, then you are a pawn of this evil empire. How else can you possibly consider yourself? It is directly because of you, personally, that countless people suffer and die. How does that make you feel? Have you ever even thought about it? How do you appease your conscience? Do you still have one?

Do you think I’m being harsh by saying that stores carrying tobacco products are pawns of evil? Allow me to provide an analogy. A military general issues an order explicitly instructing a group of soldiers to torture and kill a group of civilians. The soldiers comply. Who is the war criminal? Answer:- Everyone involved in the war crime, from general all the way down the chain of command to the actual soldiers who physically carried out the orders. Tobacco does precisely what the military personnel in this analogy have done, tobacco tortures, maims, and murders innocents. Tobacco is far, far worse than a war crime – tobacco is a crime against humanity.

Simply because a store owner does not produce tobacco products in no way exempts them from their involvement in the crime. The same goes for every single person who profits from the tobacco industry. From advertising agencies responsible for storyboards for tobacco commercials, to the freight companies that transport the products, to the chemical companies that provide chemicals to process noxious tobacco products. Every single person who profits from the tobacco industry has the blood of millions of people on their hands. Every single one of you commits crimes against humanity.

And now every single one of you can’t hide behind the excuse that you didn’t know.

But they employ so many…

Thinking the tobacco industry should be permitted to remain in existence because it employs so many people verges on the insane. I have even heard people saying we must also consider how many people are indirectly employed due to the tobacco industry. I wonder if they mean those in the healthcare industry? I equate that to saying the Mafia should be allowed go around breaking people’s legs with baseball bats, because doing so ensures the livelihood of not only the mafia, but also of the healthcare workers who treat their victim’s injuries.

To permit an industry that directly costs society countless billions in medical bills annually,  that murders millions of people every single year, that decimates families who lose their loved ones… to permit such an industry to continue existing because it employs people…  in a word that thinking is insane.

Tobacco Farmers.

Don’t tell me tobacco farmers can’t grow anything else. I have personally known tobacco farmers who profitably converted their former tobacco fields to growing cut flowers. I know land used for tobacco production can grow other crops. Regardless, I am not a farmer, and I am not going to get into arguments over nickels and dimes with profit driven liars.

Even if it were completely true that lands used to grow tobacco could never be used to grow anything else, the inescapable fact is that tobacco farmers directly profit by injuring people. What does that make them? Tobacco farmers are way above the “pawns of evil”, or perhaps they are way below them? Indeed tobacco farmers are the very root of the evil empire that is the tobacco industry.

Without tobacco farmers, there would be no tobacco industry.

To my mind, tobacco farmers are filthy, despicable, and immoral scum. Tobacco farmers are on the same level as the most vicious bosses of the most violent drug cartels – except of course that tobacco farmers kill and injure more people than any cartel, ever. The only thing tobacco farmers deserve from society is a long jail term.

A worthless drug.

Tobacco is a worse than worthless drug. Tobacco causes immediate and long-term harm. Tobacco doesn’t improve mental or physical performance. Tobacco doesn’t cure a single ailment. Tobacco doesn’t increase virility. Tobacco damages, that is all it does.  But that single deed is more than enough cause for any thinking, moral person to desire the destruction of the entire tobacco industry.

I doubt I could accurately convey the number of tobacco addicts who have answered my question, “Why do you smoke?” with the answer, “Smoking calms me.”

Smoking calms you… really? Think for a moment and you’ll see that statement is about as ludicrous as saying, “Since a shot of heroin calms a heroin addict, heroin must be a calming agent.”

Smoking doesn’t calm people, it temporarily calms their craving for nicotine.  How is a calmed addiction any less an addiction?

If you smoke tobacco, you’re a drug addict. If you chew tobacco, you’re a drug addict. If you snort snuff, you’re a drug addict. Those are plain, simple, and inescapable facts.

The essence of addiction.

Since tobacco is so worthless, why do so many people throughout the world use tobacco products? Because tobacco is a ready source of an incredibly addictive chemical called “nicotine”.  And yes, the tobacco industry has known about nicotine’s addictive power for generations. The tobacco industries knowledge of nicotine’s addictive properties is why they remove nicotine from tobacco at the start of processing, only to reintroduce it when the processing won’t damage the nicotine. Nicotine is the tobacco industry’s not-so-secret cash cow – what better way to guarantee sales than addicting your customers to your products. What other industry is permitted to sell products whose only purpose is addiction? Why is the tobacco industry exempt from all moral laws? Why indeed?

Nicotine is noted to be a stimulant, yet precisely what it stimulates I can’t imagine. Nicotine certainly doesn’t stimulate the brain, or people would realize how foolish becoming addicted is, and they would immediately stop. Nicotine certainly doesn’t improve physical performance, as evidenced by watching smokers wheezing along behind non-smokers, or by watching those who chew tobacco lose their teeth to gum disease.

I was wrong, I can imagine what nicotine stimulates – profits for a truly evil empire.

A matter of choice?

Tobacco is not a matter of choice. Tobacco is a matter of addiction. It causes addiction at a speed unmatched by virtually all other drugs, including heroin. We don’t listen to heroin addicts telling us, “It’s cool brother, I choose to do heroin.” So why do we listen to those addicted to tobacco saying similarly fallacious things?

Perhaps it is because the tobacco industry has promoted this issue as a matter of free choice. Indeed they have promoted the idea of nicotine addicts deserving freedom of choice so well that their victims have forgotten they are victims and have assumed the mantle of blame for their addiction.

Since when do addicts have free choice in their addiction?  Since nicotine addicts are permitted this choice should we not extend the same freedoms to cocaine and heroin users?  Aaahhh, another right word which is never used to describe tobacco addicts. User.

Tobacco {non-}Education.

Why does our educational system not tell our children about this despicable, addictive drug? I hear you saying it does. In school, my children have all been taught irrelevancies about smoking. Most of which somehow make it appear as though tobacco is a choice they should only make when they are grown-up. This somehow encourages them to make the choice immediately, because that will show how grown-up they are. The schools haven’t explicitly informed student that nicotine is a physically and psychologically addictive drug. The schools don’t tell kids that smoking as few as two or three cigarettes is enough for them to become dependent on nicotine. The schools don’t tell kids that the most likely drug of all for all of them to become hooked on isn’t pot, or meth, or coke, or any of the other cute sounding buzzword drugs. The drug they are most likely to become addicted to, and never manage to escape, is nicotine. I have four children. I have told them these things, and they have listened. Directly due to my efforts, none of my children use tobacco products. But what about the children of smokers? Not only do they not tell their kids about the dangers of tobacco, they resent anyone else doing the same. Somehow it is deemed to be politically incorrect to warn people about the dangers they are imposing on themselves and others by smoking – perhaps because it impinges on an addict’s “freedom of choice”?

Note my earlier choice of words, “use tobacco products”. Why did I say that instead of “smoke cigarettes”? This comes back to the inadequacy of our educational system in equipping our children to defend themselves from the predatory, drug pushing corporations that all tobacco companies are. When my second daughter was about seventeen and in her senior year I found a tin of “chew” in her room. When I accosted her, she said something that really shocked me. She said, “Oh don’t worry Dad, I don’t smoke.” I explained to her it doesn’t matter how the tobacco industry gets you hooked on nicotine, all they care about is getting you hooked. The schools had told her nothing about this. Nothing. Only by pure chance did I discover my lapse in time to save my daughter from nicotine addiction.

There is no such thing as a former addict, there are only addicts in recovery. Don’t let your children become addicts.


Please stop trying to tell me that nicotine magically transforms from addictive agent into medicine if it is taken transdermally, or is ingested in tablet form.

Nicotine is not medicine, and it never will be.

Which brings me to an important question.  How is it possible that no medications, real medicines, are widely available to cure nicotine addiction?  We have such medicines for heroin, which afflicts a truly miniscule percentage of society.  How is it even possible that no medicines to cure nicotine addiction exist?

I have no doubt that such medicines do exist.  And I also have no doubt that we don’t know about them because certain “interested parties” don’t want us to know about them.  Am I a conspiracy theorist?  You may decide whether I am for yourself.  As for me, I have my own suspicions which I won’t share on that subject.

Institutionalized drug enforcement.

It is only through sheer luck that I never took up smoking in high school. Back then, in the early to mid 1970s, the health risks of tobacco were not widely known by the general population. Smoking was just something adults did. Naturally, this caused adolescents to see smoking as a way to be perceived as adults. {I have never understood why children are so eager to give up their childhoods.} Anyway, along with all my friends I was “smoking” – right up till someone more sophisticated told me I wasn’t doing it right. They told me, “You have to breathe the smoke right into your lungs.” I blew out, and drew a breath through the cigarette. For my effort, I received an immediate, pounding headache accompanied by a hacking cough as my body attempted to evacuate the poisonous tobacco smoke from my lungs. However, that wasn’t the worst of it. When I tried to walk to the sickbay, I discovered my feet were no longer quite touching the ground, but were somehow hovering just above it.

It was literally the most nauseating experience I have ever had.

When my sophisticated instructor told me, “Take another puff, it gets better.” I looked at him and replied, “You’re a f…..g idiot if you think I’ll ever do that again.” Apparently he wasn’t, because I never did do that again. Not even during my military training, in which the instructors regularly gave, “Smoke breaks.” What is a smoke break?  A smoke break is where, in the midst of vigorous physical exercise, everyone who smokes is allowed to take a five or ten minute break. Everyone who doesn’t smoke is forced to run laps while the smokers puff away.

Institutionalized drug enforcement… where you’re forced to take drugs, instead of being prevented from taking them.

Unbelievable? This by military instructors who believe the lies about smoking having a calming effect.

Society punishes the victims.

Punishing the victims. Instead of punishing the pushers, governments punish the victims of nicotine addiction by treating their addiction as a profit center. Governments everywhere apply exorbitant taxes to tobacco products. Do the tobacco companies pay those taxes? No, their victims pay them.

My wife is a nicotine addict who firmly believes she is to blame for her addiction. She actually thinks she “chooses to smoke”. I wonder if you know anyone else like that? I wonder if you are like that yourself? We’ve been married twenty-eight years, in that time my wife has spent enough on her drug habit to buy four brand new cars. If that isn’t disgusting enough, I estimate that probably thirty percent of that wasted money has been paid to the governments that are supposed to work in her best interests.

My wife’s father died a truly miserable death at the hands of COPD, caused by lifelong addiction to smoking. She sat beside his deathbed as he struggled to breathe. She held her father’s hand as he died, the direct, painful, irrevocable result of his addiction.  Yet she still smokes, and she still believes “she chooses to smoke.”  She believes it is her fault.

An evil industry operating outside any moral constraints committed unconscionable acts in order to addict my wife to an utterly worthless drug. Adding insult to injury, they also made her a victim of propaganda which ensures she holds herself to blame for her addiction.

We should never punish the victims of crime. Yet, in the case of tobacco users, all of society, non-smoking and smoking both, punishes the victims.

Enough, is enough.

Governments everywhere count the short-term profits from taxes levied against these disgusting purveyors of addiction as being greater than the uncounted hidden costs of misery, debilitating personal injury, shortened life, and the cold hard cash costs of medical treatment. This financial equation completely discards the grief felt by the loved ones left after tobacco addicts die painful, miserable deaths.

Our governments don’t serve our interests – they serve the interests of immoral corporations.

I’ll say it again. Tobacco users are victims who have been deceived by the tobacco industry into becoming drug addicts.

It is time for change. Let us make the demise of the entire tobacco industry the first casualty in what we must realize is a war to take back our stolen citizenry.

Interested in more reading ?

Is there any good news?

Yes, and no.  If you are under the age of 40 and successfully defeat your addiction then, per the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ official website, stopping smoking  reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related disease by about 90%.  That is the yes.

As for the no.  The NO, should be massive, and it should also be a plural.  As long as people sit idle, refuse to listen to irrefutable facts, and most of all refuse to take strong action to force their governments to protect them from the Evil Empire that the Tobacco Industry is… well then nothing is going to change.  Before too long tobacco will claim its billionth human life.  Sadly, I suspect that day has already come and gone – but it’s okay as long as we don’t know about it, right? Wrong. Very, very Wrong.

{P.S. One of the few things I disliked about the Lord of the Rings, to which my own work has been compared, is that J.R.R.Tolkien chose to include “tabac” in the story.  J.R.R.Tolkien glorified tobacco use, just as thousands of other fictional pieces have done since.  Think about how many times you have seen the celebrities of television and movies smoking? Who do you think pays for that subliminal advertising? Smoking is not “cool”, it is criminal. Sadly, the ones treated as the criminals are in fact the victims.

Should you read my work, “Beltamar’s War“, you will find a culture stripped bare of the things that make humans act so poorly. “Tabac” is one of the many things you won’t find in my tale.}

{P.P.S.  I actually had someone on Twitter describe this post as “biased lies“.  I accept that I am strongly biased against the  tobacco industry – how could I not be?  The tobacco industry has repeatedly murdered people I love, and I have no doubt they will murder more who are precious to me and to you as well. Indeed, I cannot imagine how any decent person with access to information can be anything other than biased against the tobacco industry.

However, I strongly resent being called a liar. When I DM’ed the person in question about this, he informed me that the statistics quoted by the Centers for Disease Control are lies. Apparently my quoting facts published by a reputable, unbiased governmental agency qualifies me as a biased liar.  So be it.}

About C.G.Ayling

Musing misuser of words, lover of lyrical literature, author, occasional contrary thoughts. An honorable man’s name, in memoriam.
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7 Responses to The Face, of Evil.

  1. Lydia says:

    I agree 100%.

  2. Dave says:

    Don’t forget the media that romanticizes smoking. Hollywood, where cigar smoking was recently ‘the craze’ has for decades romanticized smoking. Even today. That’s what I find inexplicable. I think smoking makes people smell bad and discolors their teeth, not to mention making the air noxious and I wonder, how is this, and cancer + other health problems, romantic?

    • C.G.Ayling says:

      To my mind the mass media bears significant blame for society’s tolerance of tobacco. I have little doubt they are compensated for casting tobacco in a romantic light.

  3. Dave Grigger says:

    i have some good news. granted it is “little” compared w/the totality of the stronghold the industry has in media & in marketing.

    CVS (a major drugstore chain 7,700 retail establishments strong) recently stopped selling tobacco.

    although i personally am not a big fan of pharmacies (i have a story still in draft mode as to why) this in my mind is still a positive.

    and whenever this issue comes up my mind automatically wonders why a plant (marijuana, & no i don’t use it) that has proven medicinal properties (although smoking anything to me is counterintuitive ) is not only marginally available but in many places illegal. a plant. a plant you can grow for personal use. a plant that for many cultures (many now wiped out) had significant religious & medicinal uses.

    apologies for the length ( i now see why your post is so voluminous) but once you start seeing the truth thru the lie, words flow.


    • C.G.Ayling says:

      That is astonishingly good news. Thank you for both informing me of it, and for raising another question that I have often thought about.

      The question of Marijuana. Personally, I think Marijuana is the Tobacco Industry’s whipping boy. As long as there is some other plant at which they can point a finger and distract an unbelievably gullible public they remain safe from scrutiny. Along the lines of “the enemy of our enemy is our friend”.

      I was born and raised in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Marijuana was widely grown and used by the native people – with none of the allegedly terrible side effects.

      Thank you for commenting!

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