I keep repeating it, but tobacco- however you look at it- is no good for anyone other than tobacco company executives, a relative handful of other people who work for the companies, and the company shareholders.
Everyone else, from consumer to child labourer, suffers from tobacco’s evils. Of course, tobacco exported to other countries is also detrimental, continuing its addiction, disease and death in its consumers.
Malawi is one of the poorest nations on Earth, yet one of the biggest tobacco producing countries. In Malawi’s tobacco farm tenant system, some tenants are given food during their work periods, but other than that, they are paid only $14 a year for their work.
“What we are saying is that this system is not only evil, but also detrimental to the country’s development drive, said Henry Musasa, Malawi’s Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development.
Mr Musasa, yes, Malawi’s tobacco tenant system is evil, and thank you for your words: Ministers need to speak out! Even more importantly, Malawi needs to phase out tobacco production and replace tobacco with a healthier, alternative crop or other form of agriculture.
Tobacco companies, domestic and transnational, have way too much control over African countries and developing countries in general. Governments should not support the growing spread of the tobacco epidemic in Africa or elsewhere.