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Product testing on workers?!



This is a new one; a corporation treating it’s workers as… guinea pigs?!


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It’s a pretty bizarre situation when a corporation offers free products to it’s staff, knowing full well that they are toxic, and will probably eventually kill half it’s employees.

Imperial Tobacco must’ve run out of guinea pigs?  (The cute little four-legged variety.)

Oh well, I guess with 162,000 unemployed in this country (take a bow, National), there is no shortage of replacement workers for companies like Imperial Tobacco, as their current staff begin to drop like flies.

See: Unemployment rises: 6.8pc

Imperial Tobacco’s  boss, Brendan Walker, says,

It is purely for research. The fact of the matter is we are keen to receive the feedback and comments on those particular manufacturing runs.”

If this is truly, really, seriously “research” (and not just a freebie for staff to continue their addiction, nor to take free cigarettes home, to give away to others and perpetuate this habit), then no doubt Imperial Tobacco will have kept documentation on “feedback”?

Hutt Valley Regional Public Health smokefree officer, Kristen Foley, should ask to view all documentation regarding this “research” and supposed “feedback”.

If said documentation does not exist,  then one has to question what kind of “research” doesn’t record results.

Mind you, what would records show?

Research Outcome #1: 50% of staff dead from cancer.

Research Outcome #2: Brand 342/B  was most popular.

Note to Personnel: Contact WINZ – Hire more staff.”

What next? Will manufacturers of guns and ammunition test their products on their staff?

Of course, I can hear the response from certain libertarian/Individualist quarters, that smoking is a personal choice.

Considering that most smokers begin their addiction at around age 14, I don’t believe there is much informed choice to be had, at that young age.

See: ASH Smoking Statistics

Somehow, this practice of feeding an addiction jars with Imperial Tobacco’s  mission statement,

We have a loyal and highly motivated workforce and place a strong emphasis on maintaining high ethical standards in all of our business activities.

See: Imperial Tobacco – Culture

That statement invites the biggest bloody “Tui” response of all time.

This practice does not meet any definition of corporate responsibility that I am aware of.  Feeding a toxic, addictive product to already-addicted people is like inviting Mexican cocaine cartels to hand out “samples”  in your community.

Just for “research” and “feedback” of course.

Tobacco companies have been carrying out similar practices in Third World countries; giving away free cigarettes in an effort to “hook” more people onto their products. With developed nations taking a hard line stance on this destructive product, tobacco corporations are looking at nations with weak (or non-existant) laws regarding tobacco products,

A new study of schoolchildren 13 to 15 in 68 countries, conducted by the W.H.O. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that about 11 percent of the children in Latin America and the Caribbean were offered free cigarettes by a tobacco company representative in 1999 and 2000. In Russia, nearly 17 percent said they had been given free cigarettes. In Jordan, it was 25 percent.

”Can you imagine if that happened here?” asked Armando Peruga, tobacco coordinator for the Pan American Health Organization, the Washington-based office of the W.H.O. ”There would be a big uproar”.”

See: Enticing Third World Youth; Big Tobacco Is Accused Of Crossing an Age Line

Now a tobacco giant is offering free ciggies to their workers here, in New Zealand?

Do these corporations view New Zealand as… a Third World nation?

As mentioned above, I hope Imperial Tobacco are invited to hand over all documentation regarding this so-called “research”. Failure to do so would (or should!) have dire consequences for this company.





No animals or workers were harmed in the production of this blogpost. (My cat, however, was shooed off my keyboard when he plonked himself on it, halfway through.)



= fs =

  1. ablebreak
    12 August 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I do like the spin they put on the number of unemployed (162,000) when Paula quickly moves on to, how she wants DPB parents to go find jobs too and the 83,000 NEET’s to go back to schools who’ve expelled them to be reprogrammed …. then harp on about the 30,000 or so short term jobs that the free market has created because of their policies version(s) 1,2,3,4 have created and too waiting for the Politburo under Premier Joyceski’s stewardship to crunch the numbers and see how many widgets we need then go to PinoKeyo and ask for $5b or so to dish out to the private sector to make these “widgets”. Sounds like socialism to me!

  2. 12 August 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Saw this too ???? Omg.. So if International Corporates wish to get feedback on alcohol, or fast-food now they simply provide a feedback pad and a sickbag? Can’t wait til they TPPA brings us Drone technology testing too.. Fix that fence spat with that annoying neighbour or person you have fallen out with, for once and for all.. Networks probably working out how to make it into a Hunger Games type of Reality series…GAHHHHH!

  3. 12 August 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Gosh if Tarianna turia saw this blogg she’ll lov you for it frank mind you shes not deserving of it.give her the guinea pig instead lmao

  4. 12 August 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I’ll send her a link, Toko.

    As much as I disagree with her close relationship with the National Party, I think her work on the tobacco problem has been fairly good. Perhaps she could retain a ministerial posting as Associate Health Minister, just to keep the momentum against these tobacco corporates?

  5. 12 August 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Just like Japanese research on whales they kill. Just for research? Yeah right!

    • 12 August 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Now that’s an interesting comparison, Peter! *thumbs up*

  6. 12 August 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Toko Saito :

    Mmm ok i’ve stop gritting my teeth for now, go for gold frank …omg that was quick mmmmmmm

    ‎@ Toko…

    No mucking around here, Toko. Emails drafted and sent ASAP. It’ll give Ms Turia something to consider tomorrow.


  7. 12 August 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Would be nice to get her fedbac frank just keep us informed if u get a reply thanks again

    • 19 August 2012 at 9:41 am

      So far, Toko, I’ve received only an acknowledgement from her office.

      • 19 August 2012 at 1:40 pm

        At least you got acknowledged, thats orsom, just lost a friend to emphasema a couple of days ago 6yr older than me, she was a kronic smoker,funeral coming up wed nextweek, put me off abit as i smoke myself n hopfully i’ll give it up soonis
        h, got my son on my bac about my bad habits as hes just recently given up smoking, trying to encourage my son n family to go to ozz where, life is much easier, i need my own life bac, my brains telling me ”the world is my ouster” dammm not so at moment, hehehe

  8. 12 August 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Yup, will do, Toko! *thumbs up*

  9. 12 August 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I’m a smoker (trying to give up) and even I find that company’s behaviour reprehensible. I bet you anything they culdn’t get away with that in the States. The family of the first worker to die smoking their crappy cigarettes would sue their arses!

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