…you’re probably stumbling over corpses on sidewalks since, according to the surgeon general, exposure even to second-hand smoke can cause immediate disease, including heart attackswarns David Bozeman.
One takes scant pleasure in defending the tobacco industry, but the pertinent question, now more than ever, is how much latitude will a freedom-loving people grant its government to tax, regulate, demonize, harass and suck the life out of a sector of our economy that is still legal?Don't miss the Finalists for 2010 Lie of the Year Award
…If the government believed that its concerns were valid about the public health of children and bystanders that they claim are subject to immediate disease and death — then why are they not arguing for an all-out cigarette ban? It sounds as if the cause of big government is better served by a living, breathing monolithic boogeyman worth billions of dollars to sate the gluttonous appetites of public do-gooders?
The amount of revenue generated by tobacco taxes at federal. state and local levels is practically incalculable. Anti-smoking advocates claim that making the habit more expensive actually discourages smoking and saves lives and billions in medical costs. Some even consider higher taxes a “user fee,” but, in fact, smokers, who typically die younger, are funding health care for older citizens, whose medical and personal care needs increase with the onset of old age. Government-funded health care? More like health care courtesy of your neighbor.
The anti-smoking crusade fuels what author Jacob Sullum called in 1998 “the tyranny of public health.” … Banning menthol and mandating graphic warning labels may well decrease consumption of cigarettes, but the Big Government mentality will never kill the golden goose. By stigmatizing a bad habit, do-gooders have granted themselves leverage to extract freedom and money from a health-conscious population. Public health is a noble cause, so we are to believe, but the health the current state is obsessing over is clearly its own.