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Good News: The government knows what’s best for you!

June 13, 2009

Perhaps you’ve heard about HR1256 – The “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act”

It’s a bill that passed through Congress (see how how your congressmen and senators voted – h/t NetRight) that allows the FDA to monitor and control how tobacco companies market and sell cigarettes.

The bill received way more bi-partisan support than I think it should have. I think a lot of republicans fall into the trap of believing that a bill has ‘good intentions’ so they vote for it. That’s merely speculation, but I think it has some merit. What they (quite foolishly) don’t realize is that these bills rarely boil down to anything more than more control for the government.

And this bill is no exception. It is simply another attempt to regulate and control our lives. The fact of the matter is, tobacco companies have the right to sell cigarettes and we have the right to buy them. Get over it. Regulating how tobacco companies market their product probably isn’t going to stop anyone from picking up a cigarette. It’s not going to stop a teen from taking that first puff. They don’t start smoking because they saw a tantalizing ad for Marlboro’s. They start because someone offered them a cigarette, and they took it. They start because they see others doing it, and they think it’s cool. Congress would be hard-pressed to find a way to stop THAT. Although, I wouldn’t put it past them to try.

In addition, I think it’s a fallacy to assume that people are walking around with NO clue about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. People know, and they do it anyway. So what are harsher warnings on packages going to do? Not a damn thing. If people don’t heed that warning now, they aren’t going to do it because you made it ‘scarier.’ Does it feel to you like congress is under the assumption we’re all mentally retarded?

Is it stupid to smoke? Well, personally I don’t think it’s the wisest decision. But who am I to judge? I frequently gorge myself on various items from the Wendy’s 99cent menu which isn’t doing much for my health either. I know it (my ASS is certainly aware of it) and I still do it anyway. I guess congress needs to step in and do something about it.

~T the D
3 Comments leave one →
  1. The Ripley Porch permalink
    June 13, 2009 3:31 pm

    One of the few times I'll disagree with you. The main issue I see is that the smokes industry sat there and over fifty years…learned how to build a perfect smoke, which had every ounce of chemicals necessary to get you addicted.

    If this was a simple tobacco mixture, with nothing added…you could easily stay within a reasonable amount of smoke or even quit.

    We could make this kinda interesting….leaving untreated tobacco alone, and just messing with tobacco that has anything treated…and then you'd start to notice the tobacco industry getting a bit nervous over what you are offering.

    My last bit of analysis…is that we've learned to tax the heck out of smokes….so what happens after we convince half the smokers to quit? Something has to come to replace smokes, for revenue production.

  2. T the D permalink
    June 13, 2009 4:04 pm

    They're cigarettes, not heroine. People don't become addicted immediately. It takes multiple cigarettes for it to happen. The tobacco companies aren't standing over people forcing them to smoke until they're hooked. That is a conscious decision someone is making.

    And I don't think our government knows full well they aren't going to entice any significant amount of people to quit. What they get out of this is more control. And we know what happens when governments go no a power trip.

    ~T the D

  3. Bonnie C. permalink
    June 13, 2009 5:34 pm

    I agree with you on most points, and the government needs to step off in a lot of ways. However, I think the marketing of cigarettes to children does need to be limited in some ways. I can remember "Joe Cool", the cartoon camel for Camel cigarettes from when I was little. It just starts children on a dangerous path, I think. It is *of course* up to them in the long run to make the decisions for themselves – but at 8 years old you shouldn't really be rockin a Budweiser hat with your favorite Marlboro t-shirt.

    Also, I am a third and fourth grade Health teacher, so that affects my perspective as well. šŸ™‚

    Love your blog, keep on writing! You really make me think!

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