The Great American Smoke Screen

or,

Tell Us, O Thou Philip Morris, Are You Against, or Are You For Us?

Long past, the days when Surgeons General warned us all of cancer,
Saying that to kick the habit was the only answer,
And anti-smoking rhetoric abounded left and right—
So much that even Tareyton might rather switch than fight.
Then big tobacco companies, afraid of going broke
And seeing all their dough-re-mi evaporate in smoke,
Began inventing lesser forms of cancer-causing sticks:
"Low-nicotine"—so addicts must buy more to get their fix.

It shouldn't be a big surprise that they, with diligence,
Would plan and then would surely do whatever makes most cents.
But looking back, we'll reminisce and long for days of yore,
Cuz what will pass in coming days may prove worse than before.
They've been through litigation with a public now vindictive,
And even have conceded that tobacco is addictive.
So you might think now that Big Tobacco's dead, and will be going;
But no—defeat has simply got creative juices flowing.

They're introducing high-tech cigarettes with less carcinogens,
To try to cover up for their long-standing lack of innocens.
They're even making smokes that only heat instead of burn,
"Reducing all the stuff that's bad"—except for what they'll earn.
And meanwhile, Philip Morris has a program for the youth
To keep them off tobacco—can this really be the truth?
Cuz these are "future smokers"—ain't that slightly injudicious?
Don't know, but if you're askin' me, I think it sounds suspicious.

Perhaps they're planning now for times when smoking here is dead;
They'll turn tobacco farms to growing coca plants instead,
To fight illegal drug trade—and preserve their affluence—
While boosting our economy at Columbia's expense.
Or maybe they will just grow marijuana by the bale—
Then work with legislatures to keep farmers out of jail,
On the basis of medicinally useful "pot"ent gases…
Might better just grow poppy plants, and opiate the masses.

                                           —Anon-smoking Mouse

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