The tobacco industry has targeted just about any and every group of human beings with their addictive and deadly products, and in recent years tobacco companies have stooped so low as to target impoverished precious children in developing countries with their unthinkable aggressive advertising and marketing.
In the past, tobacco companies paid millions of dollars to the film industry to have film stars as well as kids’ favourite cartoon characters smoking. Fred and Wilma Flintstone were my favourite cartoon characters. They gave me many laughs and smiles when I was a kid. But even Fred and Wilma were not free from the tobacco companies’ greed and deceit; nor were many other cartoon characters. Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry- to name a handful- all became smokers during the years when tobacco was becoming the world’s most prevalent cause of preventable death.
While real-life film stars, sports personalities, politicians and other famous people were being paid handsomely by tobacco companies to promote tobacco products, and many of these celebrities died eventually from smoking-related diseases, cartoon characters were invincible. Cartoon characters could smoke freely and encourage kids to think about tobacco and to start smoking, but, unlike many of the kids who were influenced to smoke and who later died from their habit, did you ever see a cartoon character die from a tobacco-related disease?