Monday, June 22, 2009

The War on Smokers Continues

By Alan Caruba

We live in the “land of the free”, right? Wrong. We live in a land that is a nation of laws, not of men. That is to say, we don’t live someplace where the “Supreme Leader” can tell us whether we can smoke or not.

Instead, Congress gets together and passes yet another useless law to tell us whether we can smoke or not.

They are doing this, of course, for our own good. Those of us over the age of consent, old enough to serve in the military, and old enough to vote are simply not to be trusted on matters such as whether we choose to smoke or not. And the operative word here is “choose.”

The President, a man who likes to surround himself with “czars”, signed a new law that gives the Food and Drug Administration unprecedented authority to regulate tobacco. Typically, this piece of tyranny is dressed up to look like something else. It is called the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Every pernicious attack on freedom is always done on behalf of the “family” or “for the kids.”

I have searched the U.S. Constitution to find where it says anything about the government having the right to prevent people from smoking if they want.

The law does not let the FDA ban nicotine outright, but it will be able to regulate what goes into tobacco products, require the amount of nicotine to be reduced, and do everything short of requiring a skull and crossbones on the package.

This impulse of people in public office to pass laws and regulations to prevent people from doing what they are going to do no matter what the laws says is so base, so vile, and so useless that one need only cast one’s eyes back to the 18th Amendment to the Constitution to understand how wrong it is.

The Amendment banned “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to its jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is strictly prohibited.” It banned booze. It was passed in 1919.

The 21st Amendment repealed it in 1933 when it was apparent to everyone that people, adults, were going to drink some form of booze no matter what the do-gooders in government said about it. The “experiment” was called Prohibition. It was a failure.

One can only hope that this experiment in crowd control and private behavior will fail, but we can be very sure that tobacco bootleggers from Canada and Mexico will grow wealthy smuggling the real deal into the nation to satisfy the tastes of Americans grown tired of paying exorbitant prices for one of life’s simple pleasures.

The ghosts of Al Capone and the gangsters from the period of Prohibition are probably having a good laugh over this new law.


Carolyn said...

Hi Mr. Caruba- Am I the only one lighting up as I read this?
Yeah- the dems are all for the poor, so kick us while we're down! DOn't have a job, gov'ment is sticking themselves into our lives to make finding a job harder and destroying the country, shoving all sorts of non tax taxes on us. Most smokers I know, smoke more when they're stressed. Oh well, it's been in the works for years that smokers are the dregs of society. Everyone else has a sickness- you know, alcholism, drug addiction, shop aholics, everything else a holic. Smokers are the only ones who are looked upon as disgusting pig who are killing the world with our second hand smoke. No mention that out of all the people I have known all my life, including family members, none have died from smoking related disease or second hand smoke. However, I dont have enough fingers and toes to show how many lives have been destroyed by drugs and drunk drivers. I could fill half a column on how many people I know who have died because of some drunk driver. Oh, that makes me think too- isn't barney frank wanting to legalize pot? OOOOOOOH they'll get lots of taxes from that!
Thanks for letting me vent again. I think I'll have another puff.
God Bless you Mr. Caruba!

Guy said...

Typical liberal ... they always seem to know what's best for us, but for some strange reason, the rules don't apply to them.....

Alan Caruba said...

I have a longer examination of this new law and the general regulation of smokers coming next week on the website of The National Anxiety Center.

Suffice it to say, my grandfather and father both smoked and lived well into their 90s. My mother, who spent her life around second-hand smoke died just short of 100.

Words cannot describe my contempt for the anti-smoking gang. They are a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites.

mmpaints said...

This whole thing is so idiotic, what makes Obama think he has even the hint of a right to tell me what I can and can not do? He's got some balls... anyway, I'm already listed as a terrorist by the states of Virginia and Missouri so I'll just not disappoint them and continue my criminal behaviors by growing my own tobacco....

Alan Caruba said...

But can you roll a good cigar, MM?

At this rate I will have to fly to the Dominican Republican to get a supply.

Kendra said...

Thanks for the post, Alan. Another name for the bill is "Philip Morris Monopoly Protection Act." Family protection indeed - they don't even raise the legal age.

A question - did anyone start smoking because they saw ads - I mean, was seeing the ads the cause? Not me, I started out of curiosity, pure and simple. Liked it and continued. I do admit, if I liked a brand name or package design, I might try another brand, but usually go back to the original.

By the way, a rogue anti-smoker goes into the absurdity of the bill in However, it is the commenters who provide a balance to his bias (Dr. Michael Siegel).

There are also reams of information that all the "science" used to justify Tobacco Control are fraudulent - tobacco smoke being demonized out of all proportion (just as CO2 is being), in order to push through tyrannical policies.

And, as usual, anyone who disagrees or simply points out the flaws in the claims is immediately a "shill" - while many pushing these policies are "shills" themselves - simply for another industry sector currently in favor.

Buzzg said...

Welcome to USSR, tovarisch. That acronym stands for the United States Socialist Republic. Come we now to the early spring of our discontent, made more dismal by the advent of the Duke of D.C.. It will be a long season until Winter.


Unknown said...

"If I'd taken my doctor's advice and quit smoking when he advised me to, I wouldn't have lived to go to his funeral," -George Burns

With pandora's box opening wide up, we can sure appreciate the freedom we once had.

Doug said...

No one hates this group of nazis more than I do. Having said that, in fairness, the picture you show of Obama w/cigarette is a fake, as demonstrated here: However it is certainly true that The One is a "casual smoker," by his own admission, so the picture correctly captures the essence of the argument: hypocrisy.

Kendra said...

Hi Alan, you're busy today as well as lately. I just came across a link to your article in a comment to Michael Siegel's blog, and it reminded me that another comment had this quotation:

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.” -Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, Publ. Houghton Miflin, 1943, Page 403

Since this is an old thread, you're the only one who'll see it - "enjoy."

Mild epithet of the day referring to current regime: