In the constant fight between anti-smoking forces and those who still cling to the habit, both sides have often stretched the truth to support their position. But few statements have been more insulting to the public's intelligence than the one made by Philip Morris CEO Louis Camilleri last week.
Camilleri – himself a dedicated smoker – said, with a straight face, that while he admitted cigarettes are harmful and addictive, "it's not that hard to quit."
Could he really believe this? Or is he just so desperate to defend his industry that he's willing to tell any lie in the hope that someone will believe it?
Numerous studies have proven that tobacco is among the most addictive substances in the world. Some say more than even meth, crack cocaine or heroin.
Ask anyone who has tried to break the habit if it really was "not that hard." I guarantee you'll be told it was one of the most difficult things they've ever done. And in many cases, they still haven't.
Camilleri dismissed the difficulty of quitting by saying "There are more previous smokers in America today than current smokers." But how many would-be current smokers are no longer with us because they couldn't quit?
As long as they're legal, Mr. Calilleri has every right to sell cigarettes. But selling us a bill of goods is quite another matter.
What do you think? Call and let us know.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.