• Health advocate from Switzerland

    Excellent article on a subject that many people do not yet understand, and that does not get enough debate in the world of NGOs. The Tobacco Atlas estimâtes that one person dies from use of cigarettes or exposure to secondhand smoke for every $6000 profit that the Tobacco industry makes. If that is true, it means that 2000 people died to earn the 12 million that American Red Cross has accepted….

    The reason that any company invests in good causes is to develop good will, a good reputation and friends so as to be able to do business better. There is no harm in that if it is a normal business, but selling a product that kills a large proportion of the people who use it as intended is not normal, and Tobacco is the only legal product that fits that description. The Tobacco industry uses charitable contributions to buy credibility and friends in high places, and it uses what it has bought to resist adoption of life-saving Tobacco control policies.

    Around the world, secondhand smoke kills more people than weapons do…..and smoking kills many times more. Tobacco is not just another business with a dark spot…..it is dark to the core.

  • Brian Schott

    “Why associate with an industry that kills six million people a year?” This is an excellent question. And not just for the Red Cross.

    A quick search shows that Red Cross is far from the only institution to accept funding from Altria. Most disturbingly organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, 4H, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and numerous others that serve youth take millions each year. I was just solicited by Boys & Girls Club purporting to teach kids about Healthy Lifestyles – clearly something is amiss.

    Altria is a business, it’s fine and good that they are philanthropic. I just question charities that exist for health, safety, or for serving vulnerable youth grabbing dollars with such questionable sources rather than aligning their donation acceptance with what they preach.