During the Great Depression in the 1930s, an infamous gangster named Al Capone had soup kitchens. These soup kitchens fed hungry people. Feeding hungry people is a good thing. And yet, Al Capone was a horrible, evil person. He had people murdered. He extorted and coerced helpless people. He bribed cops, judges and politicians. So, why did he have soup kitchens? Was it out of the goodness of his heart? No, it was for publicity.

Phillip Morris makes cigarettes. Cigarettes kill people. Phillip Morris is running ads about how much they do for charity. Phillip Morris' products kill people. These ads are nothing more than a cheap PR scheme. If Adolf Hitler gave $20 to a homeless person, he would still be Adolf Hitler.

Some would argue that the fault should lie with those who purchase the cigarettes, and not with the company selling them. On some level, they're right, some of the fault is the consumer's. But, do we excuse crack dealers and drug cartels because drug addicts choose to take drugs? If I give a gun to a suicidal teenager, aren't I guilty (at least on a moral, if not legal, level) of committing a crime? Tobacco companies told us cigarettes weren't harmful, and that they weren't addictive. They targeted kids (after all, if your product kills its users, you're gonna need to replenish your consumer base continuously, and why not start young? Create smokers for life--however long that may be). The bottom line is that what they produce kills people, and they know it, and they don't care, because they make money. No matter what they say, that's wrong.

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