UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Is there a crop that tobacco companies can take over and make just as much money?
Question Date: 2014-05-28
Answer 1:

That's a good question and it's nice of you to think about how companies might stay in business if they decide not to sell a crop that is bad for people. I think that over time, what you are asking about is happening naturally. Smoking is much less prevalent today than it was decades ago because of a very strong public awareness campaign about the harms of smoking and an increasing number of regulations and taxes against tobacco and smoking. So, your question is really more of an economics question than a science one. Companies that can no longer make enough money off of growing tobacco or off of growing tobacco alone, will have to find other ways of making money or other products to sell. Many of them already do this. For example, Philip Morris, one of the 3 biggest Tobacco companies in the US, owns many brands that you might not expect, including Kraft, which is one of the biggest food producers in the United States and owns sub-brands including Jell-O, Maxwell House coffee, Oreos and Wheat Thins, just to name a few!

Answer 2:

This is an economics question rather than a scientific question. The answer is basically supply and demand: there are people who want tobacco, and are willing to pay for it. If tobacco were to become more scarce, the people who still wanted it would be willing to go to greater lengths and spend more money to still get it. Make it illegal, create a black market. The only way to get people away from tobacco is to either make it entirely unavailable or by curing its users of their addiction.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use