Well, the cigarette Nazis are at it again.
Our Political Heroes, ever-looking for new ways to take care of us, look out for us, and make sure we don't do anything stupid to ourselves, have voted to allow the Federal Bureaucracy to "Regulate Tobacco as a Drug." They manage all the other things they regulate so well that this should be a no-brainer, right?
[Disclaimer - I am a life-long smoker]
Of course, if any of YOU smoke, you should clearly see where this will take us eventually...but if you don't, or you actually LIKE the Feds controlling the things we enjoy where said things might actually be BAD for us (I'm thinking trans-fats etc), consider this:
The bill specifically states that the F.D.A.’s new powers would stop short of the ability to order the elimination of nicotine from tobacco products or place an outright ban on all tobacco products.
But the agency could reduce nicotine to nonaddictive levels if it determined that doing so would benefit public health. The F.D.A. could also require changes in tobacco products, like the reduction or elimination of other harmful ingredients.
The bill bans flavored cigarettes that appeal to young people but exempts menthol from that ban. The exemption raised objections from black antismoking advocates because mentholated cigarettes are frequently chosen by black smokers.
To satisfy the Congressional Black Caucus on that issue, last-minute changes were made in the bill to direct a scientific advisory committee to issue recommendations on menthol in cigarettes within one year.
Umm, yeah...they can't ban nicotine NOW, but being able to mandate nicotine levels is the gateway drug for our bureaucrats to ultimately banning it...or making smoking no longer pleasurable for those of us that actually CHOOSE to smoke (knowing full well that it's bad for us).
In the world of unintended consequences, lawmakers continue to miss the point; smokers want to smoke and they are sick and tired of being singled out as sinners guilty enough to punish through Governmental interventionism. Need money for schools? Tax cigarettes. Need money for State-run medicare for the uninsured? Tax cigarettes. Need money for ad campaigns warning teens of the dangers of smoking? Tax cigarettes. And, the "up-line" and "down-line" implications of all this "feel good nonsense" continues to be ignored.
We subsidize tobacco growers [farm bill fiasco] using tax dollars. We get tax dollars back by taxing tobacco related products. We kill the tobacco industry and the farmers go broke and the schools go broke and the hospitals go broke and the teens wander around aimlessly in the streets [ok, that last was intentionally hyperbolic, but you get the point].
Taking from smokers the things they enjoy surely may drive us to quit... but what will happen then? Where will all that tax revenue come from? Hold on to your Jack in the Box gift cards folks...they're coming for you fatties next.