Marijuana Is Tomorrow’s Big Tobacco – Are We Truly Prepared To Handle It?

The Big Tobacco companies are actively gearing up to ensure their customers remain loyal to their products, and do not defect to marijuana. Big Tobacco is clearly aware that marijuana could very well become their arch rival in the coming years, and could easily eat into the profits of these tobacco companies.

Marijuana is increasingly gaining legal status. However, even more importantly, the smokeable alternative to tobacco is slowly but steadily gaining social acceptance. Just last month, people strongly expressed their opinion through the power of democratic voting to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia. There are multiple states which have either legalized, or at least decriminalized, recreational use of marijuana.

However, Big Tobacco knows that the country could soon succumb and allow its citizens to openly possess and consume marijuana. Interestingly, the marijuana industry is blithely replicating the successful marketing strategies which were once adopted by Big Tobacco, when it was a nascent industry itself. Marijuana isn’t that different from the tobacco industry. It can be smoked, inhaled, and if the industry continues to make progress in consumption techniques, marijuana could be ingested in many more ways than tobacco.

Interestingly, the marijuana industry is already claiming that vaporization is a much healthier way to get high. In the early years, when the research against tobacco was poor, Big Tobacco went on to great lengths to prove that cigarette smoking was a healthy choice.

Smoking Is Good For You, Claimed Big Tobacco
Smoking Is Good For You, Claimed Big Tobacco

Just as tobacco companies featured doctors in advertisement campaigns, marijuana advocates have relentlessly appealed to medical authority by successfully lobbying in many places for the approval of “medical marijuana” for a plethora of conditions. Fortunately, Colorado has placed restrictions on marijuana advertising. In the early years, Big Tobacco faced no such restrictions, and advertising the consumption of tobacco was done in multiple ways.

Marijuana can be just as addictive as tobacco. Unfortunately for them, it is Big Tobacco itself that has perfected the formula of profiting from a legal drug: identify a product with addictive potential, aggressively market it to as large an audience as possible, develop technical innovations to allow for and promote increased consumption, and deny or minimize potential costs to human health.

Surprisingly, marijuana advocates claim that increased consumption of their product led to reduction in crime rates. Just like tobacco, unbridled consumption of marijuana can have health problems, including psychosis and impaired cognitive abilities. While Big Tobacco can do a lot to arrest the rapid adoption rate achieved by marijuana, it is up to the citizenry to keep its consumption in check.

[Image Credit | PMBC Group,Web Odysseum]

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