The one good tobacco company

How to make the world healthier, one cigarette at the time

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Photo by Adam Lerner

Amidst an industry of chemical exploitation of humans, there will be one good tobacco company. Let’s call them Morley. They are going to differentiate themselves from all their peers by providing less instead of more of what makes their business go.

Beginning at a publicly announced date, Morley starts gradually decreasing the amounts of nicotine and other harmful components in their cigarettes over time. It happens at the highest possible rate still slow enough to hardly be noticeable, until reaching zero. Consumers have then effectively cut down their physical dependence on smoking to where quitting entirely is easier than ever. This just by switching brand, otherwise keeping old habits. Quit while being a smoker.

The change happens globally. Anywhere in the world will be selling the same Morleys with the same substance levels. The power of an international movement cannot be underestimated. Anywhere people go, they’ll be among others part of the same pact. Nods of recognition in bars, cafés and in the streets: “I’m on Morleys too.” The informal community of smokers now accompanied by a community of quitters.

It would clearly be too much to ask anyone to trust a tobacco company on their word only. There is, however, an elegant control mechanism. Simply by going out and buying a pack of Morleys, their chemical contents can be analysed by anyone with the laboratory means. Although there is always slight local variance because of irregularities in supply, the overall tendency can be independently verified. The wide availability of Morleys guarantees their susceptibility to necessary examination.

The one good tobacco company would have to be an existing one, but obviously on a radical change of course. Distribution network already in place, as well as the necessary permits to sell the product. Ironically, this company could potentially vend more cigarettes than anyone ever before. And receive positive media coverage the public relations department of a poison firm could only dream of.

When the project has run its course and amounts are down to zero, it starts all over again for another wave of quitters to join. Morley makes its money and the world gets healthier, one cigarette at the time.

Written by

Film scholar and technologist with an MA in Cinema Studies. Wrote thesis on cyborgs in film. 15+ years in the computer industry. Science fiction cinema host.

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