For those of you who smoke, light up and read the following statement from the US Food and Drug Administration website announcing the latest effort to get you to butt out:
Beginning September 2012, FDA will require larger, more prominent cigarette health warnings on all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the United States. These warnings mark the first change in cigarette warnings in more than 25 years and are a significant advancement in communicating the dangers of smoking.
Are they serious? The “significant advancement” is nothing more than newer color graphics of disease, supposedly but not definitely caused by smoking. Showing new pictures of old news is neither significant nor advanced. It is dumb and typical of nanny state thinking.
But there is more. The final set of cigarette health warnings contains nine new cautions each designed to increase awareness of the health risks associated with smoking.
Increase awareness? There exists somewhere a human being who does not know smoking involves risk?
Here’s an idea. If smoking is that serious a threat to the continuation of life as we know it then ban tobacco. Let us not play games. The time for half measures is over. Citizen’s lives clearly hang in the balance. They can even claim they’re doing it for the children.
But no politician will move to ban tobacco. The same politicians that so many place their faith in for guidance on what to eat, what to drive and basically what to think about every aspect of their lives, are duplicitous, unscrupulous and have literally no concern over your best interests despite their latest campaign slogans and promises to save you from yourself.
Tobacco will never be banned. It is a huge money maker for governments. They are no less addicted to that tax money than smokers are addicted to nicotine. Personally I see the latter as less offensive. I used to enjoy smoking. I have never enjoyed paying taxes.
I’ve heard the argument that smoking adds to health care costs. So do car accidents and obesity. No one is suggesting restricting driving or controlling what the obese ingest every day (although now that I’ve mentioned it. . .one never knows). Cool it on controlling the freedom to choose personal pleasures.
People who support government control in their lives and who believe it to be a benefit overall concern me greatly. They miss the point that we are our own masters. We hire and fire via the ballot box. A very dangerous trend is growing where those who should be subservient are exerting an ever increasing amount of authority over us, the people.
It is not the government’s business if, when or where anyone smokes. Tobacco remains a legal product and its usage or restriction should be determined by society not by politicians speaking from both sides of their mouths. Banning smoking at parks, beaches and ball games is the best example of how absurd this has become.
It’s the same with bars and restaurants. It is the right and responsibility of the owner to decide what their customers want and to operate his or her business accordingly. Every business should be free to make their own decisions regarding smoking.
Too many people love being a victim and there is not a political opportunist in power who will pass on the chance to exploit your weakness, your fear or your need to restrict someone else from enjoying a simple pleasure.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg began by banning smoking. Then he banned trans fats. Now he wants a 50% reduction in the use of salt in the Big Apple. Oh he’s a great guy.
Is there anyone who wants to ban drinking? Don’t be shy. There’s a politician running for some office some where who will look into that for you.
Interesting thoughts. You are right that everyone knows there’s a risk to smokers.
Personally, I’m glad the gov’t has banned smoking in various places, because it makes it easier to know an establishment is smoke-free – i.e. a restaurant. If the individual place has the choice of what they want to do with smokers, then that certainty is taken away. Also, if I was a restaurant owner who did not want people smoking in my establishment, I would be pleased the gov’t has put the ban in place, instead of me having to tell patrons or post a notice for patrons to read, that might turn them away from my restaurant, and give them the choice of going to another one that might allow smoking.
This topic is another example of what I see as a great debate with firmly held positions on both sides.
To the issue of dining and smoking – I suspect that if restauranteurs where allowed to operate free of government interference, the market available to them of both smokers and non smokers would work quite nicely to everyones benefit. Because I believe that so firmly, I want to look beyond the issue of smoking to that which I see as far more damaging. It is the loss of freedom to live our lives as individuals making almost all of our own choices. Government control has been creeping up on us with our permission and encouragement for decades. I do not know where it ends but I do know it will not end until we say – enough!