Your 2c worth
Motley Fool said they were giving 2c to charity for every post and comment to the blogs in December. I did 45 posts and I counted 227 comments made to those posts in December. I did not check to see if there were comments added to older posts. So, it looks like my blog was worth $5.44 to charity via the Motley Fool.
Everyone has their pet charity and mine is Non-smoker's Rights Association.
The way I look at it, each child we prevent from starting to smoke will over their life time will save $4.50 per pack and would smoke on average one pack per day over 40 years. In today's dollars that's about $66k of disposible income they can spend on other things, and indeed, benefit all other businesses. The thing about addiction is that there isn't free market competition with addiction, so either they are smoke-free and this money is spent in a free-market economy, or they are addicted and this money will go to the tobacco industry even if they have to stand in a food bank line-up to feed their children.
Indeed, where tobacco companies are moving into the emerging economy countries what studies on the poor family units find is that when a parent becomes addicted to tobacco it results in an 8,000 calorie deficit in the children's diet per month. Never mind the children sold into the sex trade because of addicted parents.
And the thing is, tobacco companies use that money that people spend on cigarettes to lobby and force their way into other countries.
For years tobacco companies used the chloro-fluoro-hydrocarbons to "fluff" tobacco to help prevent cigarettes from going out when they were left unattended. I feel grief when I think about that and all the house fires that would not be if cigarettes were not manipulated to keep burning when unattended. I especially feel grief when I think of my 10-year-old cousin who is no more due to a house fire about 3 years ago. I teach and I've always worked hard to give children a strong anti-tobacco message. I never dreamed I would one day be sharing a story like this with them.
Tobacco companies are one of the most disasterous companies for their destructive forces to the environment. How much of that hole in the ozone layer do you think comes from releasing 50,000 tons of chloro-fluoro-hydrocarbons per yea?. The CFCs are not used up in the reaction that breaks down our ozone layer, but are a catalyst that continues to break down the ozone until it excapes our atmosphere. Make no mistake that the spillover costs of skin cancer due to tobacco never shows up in the medical costs of tobacco, nor does the spill over costs of all that sunblock we must all buy to protect our skin ever get its fair share attributed to tobacco.
And just look at Zimbawbe. In the 90s they were booming with their tobacco growing, only tobacco growing in a third world country kills the lungs of our world. Tobacco is highly energy intensive to cure. In developed countries things like oil are used to cure tobacco. In third world countries they cut down their forests. Vast amounts of the deforestation in Zimbawbe and Brazil is due to curing tobacco. These are the tracks of deforestation that astronauts describe seeing from space. Indeed, when I was studying this issue in the mid 90s, in the previous 10 years tobacco farmers had gone from just going outside their yards to secure wood to having to travel 10 miles to secure wood to cure tobacco. It was economic boom times through that era for Zimbawbe, but they have destroyed their forests. I have not recently checked out if they have any tobacco growing industry left, but without forests, I seriously doubt it.
Most people have no idea the degree to which our planet has suffered mass deforestation simply to cure tobacco.
The other thing about preventing tobacco use, on average it gives people an extra 17 years of life. In seventeen years we take a baby and bring them to the end of high school. An extra 17 years really means it isn't that big of a deal if young people take an extra few years to figure out what it is they want to do with their life. As long as we enable them to grow up healthy and free of addictions they have a lot more time and resources to figure their lives out. And then there is the spillover into other drugs. Something like 85% of cocaine users were smokers first. Tobacco is a gateway drug.
I've always thought of addiction as chemical slavery and there is no question that the experience of those that manage to escape addition is feeling of liberation. I don't think there is any greater gift that the gift of freedom.
So, there I've said it, I can't think of any other donation I make to charity that does more positive for the environment, health and economics of the world and does more to empower people.