CHAIRMAN AND CEO
do I sleep at night? That is perhaps the question most frequently
asked of me. Well, I'm happy to answer it: I sleep very well,
thank you! (of course, the plush king-size deluxe bed in my ultra-schmancy
mansion doesn't hurt)
lot of people seem to feel that killing for profit is morally
wrong or something. They seem to forget that we live in a free
country, founded upon the principle of free enterprise. Exploiting
any and every opportunity to make money is what our great country
is all about.
strength of our country derives from the strength of its economy.
When people smoke our cigarettes, our company's stock value goes
up. Likewise, our country's GDP goes up. And when our customers
eventually succumb to emphysema and cancer, they spend billions
of dollars on oxygen tanks, chemotherapy, and medical operations.
Consumption of these products similarly boosts the economy.
when our economy fell into a slump following 9/11? What did our
President do? He told us to go out and shop. He might as well
have told us to "go out and smoke." Every cigarette
smoked represents money earned and a stronger American economy.
if there were no tobacco companies? It would be a bleak world
indeed. Not only would tens of thousands of our employees around
the world be out of a job, so would thousands and thousands of
hospital bed manufacturers, nurses, and cancer specialists.
I go to bed at night, I think of these employees who, thanks to
our company, have a roof over their heads and food on their tables.
I think of our stockholders, who we are enriching. And I think
of my big fat bank account that keeps on growing and growing,
and my fabulous mansions and villas around the world.
for our customers gasping and wheezing in hospital beds, I don't
miss a wink of sleep over them. In this global battle for profits,
they are merely "collateral damage" - one of the unfortunate,
but inevitable, consequences of the business.