When Representative Ron Wyden questioned James Johnston, the Chairman, and CEO of R.J. Reynolds, in 1994, he got the answer that flew in the face of known science and reality:
“Cigarettes and nicotine clearly do not meet the classic definitions of addiction…”
However, the world would see through this gaslight. R.J. Reynolds would be one of the tobacco companies called upon to pay damages in a $206 billion Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.
Nonetheless, despite this, R.J. Reynolds has continued to profit and only grow larger. It purchased Lorillard Tobacco for $27 billion in 2014 and paid $49 billion to merge with British America Tobacco in 2017.
Americans know that cigarettes cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema, and COPD. In addition, they cause seven out of every ten cases of lung cancer. And cigarette smoking is highly addictive.
But currently, we are witnessing an even greater gaslight than from the cigarette executives. We see in 2021 gaslighting about vaccines, Ivermectin, and public health. We are lied to daily by corporate interests who seek to protect a much greater industry than tobacco.
Unlike tobacco, which was plastered all over the television with Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man, today we are bombarded with video clips of overflowing hospitals and dying patients. Rather than tobacco’s message of glamor, we relentlessly hear Big Pharma’s marketing message of doom. First, this was rehearsed with Ebola, later with Zika, and now Big Pharma has perfected it with COVID-19.
The public may be aware that the Pharmaceutical companies profit handsomely from new drugs and that there is a very cozy and cooperative relationship between FDA, NIH, and Big Pharma. Still, almost no one realizes they are gaslit daily with a coordinated marketing campaign