Monday, December 10, 2012

News Flash! Smoking is Good For You!

If you saw a headline like this, your first reaction rightly would be that it’s ridiculous, obviously a spoof or a ploy to get your attention.  You would be right.  Everyone knows that smoking is hazardous to your health.  It causes cancer and other diseases.  It kills people everyday.  When people try to explain how dangerous something else is, they often use smoking as the benchmark.  So why would I say that smoking is good for you?  I did it only to bring to your attention how stupid and invasive the latest push by the federal government is, trying to add more labels plus scary pictures to cigarette packages.

The cigarette companies took the government to court to oppose it.  When the courts blocked the requirement, the government appealed, but the court affirmed the ruling and refused to reconsider the case.  The next step may be the Supreme Court.  More of our tax money will be spent on hearings to determine whether or not to intensify a warning that tells us what everyone already knows.

This is not new knowledge.  Long ago cigarettes earned the nickname of coffin nails, and the dangers of tobacco have been known for over 150 years.

Almost any smoker can explain the dangers of smoking and the wisdom of quitting.  They continue to smoke by choice or because they feel either they can’t quit or the misery of quitting is not worth the benefit of becoming a non-smoker.  The only smokers who did not take this stance were the ones suing the tobacco companies back in the 1990s claiming that they were victims, tricked by Big Tobacco or enticed by a cartoon.  They claimed not to know the dangers; it wasn’t their fault.  Sympathetic juries went along.  This led to a settlement between the states and the tobacco companies for almost a quarter of a trillion dollars to be used for anti-smoking education – most of which, by the way, was not.  Education has worked to an extent, but increased warnings hold little hope of further reducing the percentage of smokers.

Why should we care?  First it’s our tax money being wasted.  There is no magic money tree, and dollars used for this are not available for better purposes.  

Second, it’s another form of government intrusion brought about by their apparent belief that Americans are not responsible enough to take care of themselves.  (Every time we behave in a way that is less than responsible it reinforces that belief and our freedoms are further eroded!  That's only one reason why responsibility is so important.)  If you are not a smoker, you may think this does not affect you or you may take a “better them than me” attitude.  But be careful.  Governments develop patterns of behavior just as people do and the next interference or restriction may affect something you hold dear.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Click again on the title to add a comment