Philip Morris haven't surfed out the global opposition to cigarette smoking without being slippery customers; Safran is especially intrigued by the way they've co-opted language to their own ends. They have invented a device they call the 'IQOS' -- sometimes they are at pains to distinguish this from a vaping device, but at other times, they are happy to conflate the two. The nicotine delivery device that is used with the IQOS is called a 'Heat Stick' -- definitely NOT a cigarette, they assure us, because it's 'heated' rather than 'burned.' And yet it looks like a cigarette and serves the same purpose as a cigarette ie getting nicotine into your body. Ah, doesn't it produce smoke, just like a cigarette? No, no, that's not smoke, it's 'vapour.' And so it goes. It really does make your head spin.
John Safran draws some interesting parallels between Philip Morris redefining a cigarette as a 'Heat Stick' and lethal tar as 'Nicotine Free Dry Particulate Matter' when in a different context he finds Jewish people being redefined as 'white people' and thereby disqualified from commenting on matters of racial discrimination -- an ironic decision for someone whose parents survived the Holocaust. It's not a shock that Safran is a little sensitive on these subjects.
I was dismayed, but not really surprised, to discover the extent of Philip Morris's duplicity. Corporations really will stop at nothing in the pursuit of profit. At least it makes a great topic for a book, and Safran is always entertaining company on the journey.
I read this some months ago. It’s fascinating stuff. I wasn’t surprised either.ReplyDelete
And yes, he must be charming, because I’ve read his other books and found that even those he has sent up mercilessly seem to like him!
I imagine he would be wonderful fun to hang out with in real life -- he certainly is on the page!ReplyDelete