- Posted June 12, 2009 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The Situation Room: Your political resolutions
The Tobacco company dirty secrets
I been wanting to speak about this for years since I never see stories on the news about it. They might be trying to take more ad campaigns away from the the Tobacco companies that the Gov thinks will stop them but it wont. For many years the tobacco companies have been targeting young people at the clubs all over the country. You can go down broadway in San Francisco to one of their clubs. I'm not talking about teh strip joints but the clubs that the young people go to to dance to comercial music. You will find young girls and guys that work for small agencies where they walk around passing out free lighters with a Tobacco companies logo on it. This is their way to promote to the young people.
You will see this in many clubs in San Francisco and in Los Angeles. A good friend of mine I use to argue with her telling her not to except the job for an agency in Los Angeles, CA. Her job was to go to mny differnt clubs and promote ciggerette companies by giving away free lighters with the tobacco companies advertisment printed on them. She was paid $14 an hour for 4 hours a night. She knew it was not right and she is not a smoker and she hates it but she needed the money so she took the job.
Nation of Islam:
Now this is the part that can be touchy to some. I'm still upset about this part. I'm a independent filmmaker and I been filming the original bboy "Break-dancers" for many years and current before what you see on TV now. In 1999 I was at a club in Los Angeles called the Element Lounge to film a friend of mine battle another friend of mine. Today these 2 dancers are legends and you might have seen them in todays movie and dance TV shows.
The problem is that once I pulled my video camera out to film the historic battle the nation of islam guys who were security for the night grabbed me. They took my camera and put it in back of a Uhaul in back of the club. They first gave me a lot of attitude because they said no filming. I told them I drove all the way from northern california to film these 2 battle and the club already gave me permision to film.
I then started to notice why they didn't want me filming. I saw on the walls were posters that look like they were just posted for the night from Skroll tobacco company. Poster all over the club and then I saw that their were women from the nation of Islam passing out free packs of Ciggerettes. I declined when they asked me and I was beening eye balled by all the Nations security all night. They were trying to cover not only for the tobacco company but also for the nation of Islam. Well maybe I shouldn't say nation of islam but they were all big tall brotha's in suits, little bow ties and white gloves. None of them smiled.
Still to this day many people in the dance world ask me do I have that historical footage between those 2 who battled in the dance contest. I say no they took my camera. They said that I was the only person with a camera and everyone depeneded on me so yeah I'm still pissed at the Tobacco company.
I'm also upset for what the tobacco company has done to my health. My mother smoked during her pregnancy in the 70s and she continud to smoke until I was in my late 20s when it almost killed her when she collasped. She has not touched a ciggerette ever since.
But my breathing problems I stiill deal with as a second hand smoker.