Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

Author: Bryan Burrough, John Helyar
This Month Hacker News 1


by Bucephalus355   2018-11-10
Stopping smoking is not all it’s cracked up to me.

The show Silicon Valley hinted at this when Bachman tries to pitch an app to crowdsource geolocating smokers.

First, yes smoking is bad, but all the health benefits of stopping have been completely absorbed by the unhealthy food that is sold / made available.

In fact, the second largest smoking company, RJ Reynolds, used to be called RJR Nabisco. A ton of snack food executives got there start from the world of smoking.

Second, there is a community level to this as well. It used to really bother me how many people at work smoked. I would walk past the designated smoking area and see 30 of them hanging out. Then I realized that there is something about smoking that brings people together (one of which is being forced to gather in a designated area), and perhaps in this era of individualism, loneliness, and anonymity that is a greater good.

For more on RJR Nabisco, I suggest this great book from the 80’s:

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco