By Jim Gogek
In the film noir The Naked City, Detective Muldoon tells the smarmy Frank Niles, “…you are probably the biggest and most willing liar I have ever met.”
Muldoon never met the modern day tobacco industry. In its battle against California’s Proposition 29, the $1 sales tax increase on cigarette packs, commercials brought to you by your friends at RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris tell the biggest and most willing lies I’ve ever heard.
LIE: No money will go to cancer
TRUTH: About $440 million will go to research into cures for cancer and other tobacco-related disease. In fact, Prop. 29 will make California the second biggest cancer research funder in the world.
LIE: It will divert money from our schools
TRUTH: This doesn’t even make any sense. Prop. 29 won’t affect schools except that fewer kids will begin smoking because tobacco will be more expensive
LIE: Wasteful spending creating massive bureaucracy
Truth: Administrative costs are capped at 2%
And on and on. Below is a great interactive graphic on CaliforniasforaCure.org that answers each of Big Tobacco’s lies, and even tells you who those doctors are that shill for the tobacco industry. I’m pretty sure a majority of California voters are smart enough to dismiss Big Tobacco’s lies. In a way, it’s instructive to hear the bold-faced whoppers by Big Tobacco, because now you know how an industry gets fabulously rich selling a product that kills half the people who use it as intended – by lying.