At this point in my blog, my feelings toward the tobacco industry are no secret if you’ve been here for more than a hot minute. If not, then here it is: the tobacco industry pisses me off just by existing. I’ve always held a grudge against them for as long as I can remember, even before I knew what this stuff actually did to people.
I only knew that it made people sick, and that it’s stinky. It was something my mom had to do, and I didn’t understand why.
She always said it was a “bad habit.” At least, that’s how she was able to rationalize it by framing it as such.
Now I know. This was an addiction, no matter what anyone says. My mom and my late uncle both started fooling around with smokes in high school, and by the time she graduated, she was hooked. I’ll explore this more in-depth in my forthcoming e-book.
As I came of age, I remember my mom having multiple health scares over the years. Some were from before I was born, others happened when I was too young to remember any of it. Trips to the ER (or Accident and Emergency for you readers from across the pond) became old news by the time I started high school this time 21 years ago. (Dang, has it really been that long?!)
The ER trips then graduated to hospital stays in college (or university for you international readers), and week-long ones at that. It wasn’t long after I transferred to a four-year school when she ended up in the hospital with pneumonia.
There were more hospital stays after that for pneumonia and asthma attacks, each one worse than the one before it in the years that passed since then.
As a result, she missed a lot of work. She was a nurse, and it was one of her joys in life. When the pandemic came around in 2020, she entered her 50th year in nursing. By then, her health had deteriorated to the point the facility she worked at moved her to part-time status. Her last day was in February 2020, and she came home early due to her advancing condition.
From there, she went on the downward spiral, in no-holds-barred self-destruct mode. Losing a 50-year-long nursing career had to have been unimaginably difficult, more than any words could even describe.
I’ve been looking for another job for a year now. My current role by itself isn’t enough to make ends meet, and when I was throwing some content up on Instagram for this blog, I saw an ad.
It popped up in my Instagram feed for something that seemed super innocuous. It was for a company I didn’t immediately recognize, and at first, I mistook it for another similarly-named company specializing in something that isn’t manufacturing. It talked about how they’re all about helping moms re-enter the workforce, and I was totally here for it.
I love it when agencies give a hand-up to job seekers from disadvantaged demographics. I mean that with every ounce of sincerity I have.
I instinctively gave it a ‘like,’ the way I like to do for my fellow Instagrammers.
That is, until I took a closer look at it, and I finally figured out what kind of company this was.
It was an ad for a company within the tobacco industry. One of the big-name conglomerates, to be exact. I won’t name the specific company, since I wont sully this blog with its’ name. As soon as I figured out who it really was, and that it was the one who made her brand, I un-liked their ad, and reported it as irrelevant.
I felt like I’d been had. Played. Duped. Tricked.
It was too bad I could only pick one option, because that ad was offensive AF. Their post’s copy bragged lyrical about how they’re helping moms re-enter the workforce, and how they have a special program just for that.
How offensive, and hypocritical of them.
How dare this company say they care about moms re-entering the workforce?! How fuckin’ DARE they?! How can this company say they care, when they make their money by creating products designed for no other purpose than to get them hooked beyond comprehension, ruin their health, get them to a point where they can’t quit even if they tried, and ultimately kill them?
They make products that take moms out of the workforce, reduce productivity on the job, and drive up instances in sick leave. On top of that, the costs of their products go far beyond the price at the register for the stuff themselves. The costs include unholy amounts of money in doctor’s office visits, hospital stays, and medications.
When it reaches the point my mom got to, the costs then include ambulance rides, and eventually, hospice care on top of everything else.
I’m now left to pick up the pieces.
Their products took a mom out of the workforce this time two years ago. Watching it play out the way it did was a nightmare, to say the least. That mom was just one of many that day, and many more moms have been taken out of the workforce since then.
I call BS on any company that says they care about moms, when they create products solely for the sake of harming people by engineering said products to be as addictive as it gets. A lot of people who use these products are moms. I know this, we know this, and so do they.
They can’t care about moms on general principle, let alone moms looking for work after having been out of the workforce for however long. No way. Their words say they do, but their actions say otherwise. Actions speak louder than words.
On behalf of my mom, this company gets two thumbs down and the middle finger from me, for their products destroying a career she lived for, and loved every second of.
And these butt weasels have the audacity to claim they care about moms. They don’t. They never have, and they never will.
To any moms looking for work who find this: you can do so much better. You deserve better than what the tobacco industry has to offer. You deserve a job you can name with pride, where you get to go to bed each night without regrets or crises of the conscience. Don’t let these turds convince you otherwise.
To any moms struggling with addiction to commercialized tobacco products: you deserve better than the hand the tobacco industry has dealt you. I’ve said it before around here, and I’ll say it again: do whatever it takes to quit, ASAP. If it’s your first time, great. If it’s your hundredth time, then you’re that much closer to finding what works for you to break your addiction. I’ll be rooting for you from this side of the computer.
Over to you, readers. Have you ever seen ads similar to what I’ve talked about here? Does this hit close to home for you, or a mom you know? If so, then my heart goes out to each of you. I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, so drop ’em like they’re hot below, and let’s talk.