Cigarette Manufacturers See Smokin' Profits Ahead
Almost every time we see the face of a soldier or a Marine in Iraq on our TV screens and in magazines, he or someone near him is smoking a cigarette. The coverage has been a boon for the long-suffering and beleaguered tobacco industry.
“It’s like World War II all over again. We’re about to enter a new era of surging tobacco sales,” said Ross Roswell of Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em, a Washington lobbying firm representing the tobacco industry, “The dog-faced GI. The grunt. Unshaven. Gritty. Smoking. You couldn’t ask for a better advertising campaign. This is going to make the Marlboro Man look like a Girl Scout.”
Statistics are not yet available on what brand of cigarettes are preferred by US fighting forces, but sources within the military suggest that the leaders will likely be Marlboro Reds and Kools.
“After that you got your Winstons and your Salems, but by and large, it should be Marlboro and Kool way ahead with a possible showing by Camel,” said the source.
“Smoking is coming back out of the closet,” said Roswell, “and while we hail our military heroes for all they are doing in Iraq, the tobacco farmers of America would like to also thank them for liberating this troubled and besieged pillar and foundation of America.”
Tobacco lobbyists are hoping to gain even broader acceptance of smoking by reintroducing miniature cigarette packs into the government’s MRE packets.
“The old K-rations and C-rations always had smokes in them, then we all got politically correct and stopped that,” says Roswell, “but we argue that including cigarettes in the MRE package will cut down on the black-marketing that is surely going on right now among our troops in Iraq.”