Friday, January 21, 2011

Organic Tobacco... What Will They Think Of Next?

Tonight I'm expecting three dinner guests, so I'm going to take a really quick break from cleaning and cooking to get something off my mind: organic tobacco doesn't make sense.

Apparently a growing (ha! pun!) number of American farmers are beginning to cultivate organic tobacco, since the increased costs and slightly lower yield are offset by a much higher selling price once harvest time comes around. The cigarettes made out of this tobacco are then marketed as being "natural" due to their lighter environmental footprint as compared to the conventional ones.

But... who buys these? There are people who worry about environmental degradation, and they might approve of the fact that no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides were used, protecting the soil and nearby streams, but what about the amount of waste generated by the production, consumption, and disposal of the cigarettes in question? Then there are people who worry about their health, and they may take comfort in the fact that they aren't being exposed to residual toxins from the nasty chemicals used to grow tobacco using conventional methods, but what does that matter if they're still inhaling tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide?

Folks, I'm stumped. Is this just another example of "make it, and they will buy it"? Do any of you smoke, and if so, would you pay more to buy "natural" cigarettes?

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