Another CEO With Foot in Mouth Syndrome

by updated 2011/05/15

Phillip Morris CEO Louis Camilleri, a long time smoker himself, claims that quitting smoking is not that hard. Now I wonder if, as the CEO of the country’s largest cigarette seller, he has any financial incentive to say that? The number of smokers does continue to slowly decline and I have seen stories that state that upwards of 70% of smokers would like to quit. If, as Camilleri claims, it was not that hard to quit, I bet many of those 70% would have stopped already. Companies like Phillip Morris depend on a steady supply of new, young, smokers to stay profitable. If they can spin out a message that young people do not have to worry about smoking because they can always easily quit later, (before they go the way of the Marlboro man), then the Phillip Morris bottom line can only be helped.

I suspect this is a cynical, planned, PR campaign designed to make smoking seem like less of a risk to teens. But who knows, I guess there is no way of being sure this is just not another CEO speaking before he thinks. Anyway here is a link to the full Camilleri smoking controversy. Read it and see what you think. As an interesting aside, if you have not read it and the comments, one of the most popular pages here over the past few months is this article on e-cigarettes.

And here is a link I just found to a guy who said all this in many fewer words:  The Face of an Idiot.

Will Sig
1 nella

unbelievable “If they can spin out a message that young people do not have to worry about smoking because they can always easily quit later”
i would have never think of that…. only money matters … it is human nature but it surprises me every time.
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2 Marianne

Well, there may be a few people out there for whom quitting might not be that hard but I suspect that they must be genetic anomalies. All the research from unbiased sources I’ve seen states that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known- moreso than most illegal drugs, even!

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3 Jenn Brigole

I’ve once heard from a colleague that the best way to go is to quit in an abrupt manner. He wanted to try and live a healthier lifestyle and he’s done a lot of sacrifices in the past, but he said that quitting smoking was real tough. He’s tried the couple of sticks a day thing but that didn’t work out for him in the long run. Withdrawal is the worse for a smoker but I am glad he kept up with it and now he’s almost two years off the cigarette.
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4 Binky

I find it amazing that companies are still allowed to sell a product that almost guarantees you’ll die from it.
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