Fact and Opinion
by Stephan MacLeod
There are 700 chemicals added to cigarettes during production.
Here are some of my favorites:
FACT: Ammonia is a poisonous gas used to clean
OPINION: Wouldn't you want to clean your lungs
with a product powerful enough to keep toilets clean?
FACT: Cadmium is a highly toxic metal used in
OPINION: Everybody loves batteries. Without them,
those singing fish would just be for decoration.
FACT: Arsenic is a poison found in ant killers.
OPINION: Arsenic is only poisonous if you put it
in someone's food. Blowing it in someone's face is a sign
of friendship in Sudbury.
FACT: Formaldehyde is used as an embalming fluid.
OPINION: Formaldehyde helps you leave a handsome
corpse, but if you want to jiggle during your funeral,
FACT: Acetone is found in nail polish remover.
OPINION: Avoid sticking your fingers in a smokers
mouth when you are painting your nails.
FACT: In 1957 tobacco farmers made about 16 cents
for every dollar consumers spent on cigarettes and the
manufacturers made about 19 cents. By 1993, though, the
farmers were only getting about 3 cents per dollar spent
and the cigarette companies were making 63 cents.
OPINION: Tobacco farmers must have the coolest
FACT: Tobacco companies are cranking out about
5.5 trillion cigarettes a year. That works out to nearly
1000 cigarettes for every man, woman, and child on this
OPINION: Once again the sea otters are left out.
FACT: Tobacco Industry spending on advertising
has soared from $361 million in 1970 to $6 billion in
OPINION: They should actually spend more money
on advertising because there are a lot of potential customers
who don't know how to read Harpers Magazine.
FACT: Joe Camel is as recognizable to 6 year
olds as Mickey Mouse.
OPINION: Who cares? It's not like they drive down
to the store and buy a pack of smokes. At most, all 6
year olds can do is point at the TV and piss themselves
whenever they see a cartoon.
FACT: In 1995 Tobacco interests gave $4.5 million
to political parties and spent $53 million on lobbying
to influence political decisions.
OPINION: Sometimes politicians include a free crack
whore with purchases made by lobby groups.
FACT: In a 1994 study, only 33% of stores consistently
obeyed laws limiting the sale of tobacco to those under
18 who, on average, spend $1.6 billion on tobacco products
OPINION: It sucks to be under 18. It's illegal
to buy smokes, you're stuck in high school, and you
can't see a movie with nudity in the theaters without
a parent present.
MacLeod was born in the VG Hospital in Halifax, Nova
Scotia. He moved to Sydeny, Cape Breton in the fifth grade,
and currently lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
with his mother.